The United Nations Security Council on Friday approved a resolution calling for a humanitarian truce between Israel and Hamas, increasing aid to Gaza, creating conditions that allow for a sustainable end to the fighting, and ending days of closed negotiations.
The resolution calls for “an urgent and extended humanitarian truce and corridors throughout the Gaza Strip for a sufficient number of days to enable full, rapid, safe and unhindered access of humanitarian aid.”
The United States and Russia abstained from voting, and decided not to use their veto power as permanent members of the body that would have overturned the resolution.
US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield praised the resolution, but abstained from voting in favor of it after the text failed to include a condemnation of Hamas.
“We would like to see a condemnation of Hamas,” a senior US diplomat told CNN. “We don’t understand why the Council can’t explain exactly how we got to where we are. But at the end of the day, that’s the essence of diplomacy.”
Throughout what the diplomat called “marathon negotiations,” the United States was careful not to vote against the resolution after suffering a global backlash due to its veto of the recent Security Council resolution that called for an immediate ceasefire.
Instead, the language in Friday's resolution called for “urgent steps” to lay the foundation for a “sustainable cessation of hostilities.”
“Ultimately, creating the conditions for a sustainable cessation of hostilities is something everyone is looking to do,” the diplomat said. “And I think the big disagreement over the last few weeks has actually been: Is now the right time to stop hostilities?” Or do the circumstances have to be right? We were comfortable with the idea that the conditions had to be right for that.
Sources had previously told CNN that the main point of contention regarding the draft was the United Nations’ call to “establish a monitoring mechanism in the Gaza Strip that includes the necessary personnel and equipment, under the authority of the Secretary-General of the United Nations.”
The United States said the proposal for a UN-established monitoring mechanism for aid entering the Gaza Strip would be burdensome and slow the delivery of vital aid.
The senior US diplomat told CNN that the initial idea of setting up a new surveillance system inside Gaza during the war was “completely unworkable.”
“The UN has told us privately that there is no way to do that. Our assessment is that it will not replace any existing mechanisms for aid flow,” the diplomat said. “So it is essentially a matter of grafting on a completely new, completely redundant mechanism for the aid that is already being provided and potentially “It creates chaos and kind of slows everything down.”
Diplomats were working behind closed doors to finalize the resolution drafted by the United Arab Emirates. A US official familiar with the discussions said the draft began by calling for an “urgent cessation” of hostilities. The official said that neither the United States nor Israel currently supports a ceasefire, so the United States responded with “more negative language,” describing the language that ended in the resolution.
“Israel is aware of this and can live with it,” the official added, considering that it was not the language regarding the cessation of hostilities that caused the delay, but rather disagreements over the monitoring mechanism.
Russia's representative put an amendment before the Council just before the vote that would have changed the language back to the original “immediate cessation of hostilities,” but the United States vetoed it.
An Israeli official responded to the vote, telling CNN: “We are grateful for the American efforts to address the most problematic elements of the proposed resolution. “They worked really hard, and we really appreciate their efforts.”
“In our view, the resolution is unnecessary and demonstrates the inability of the United Nations to play a positive role in the conflict. After nearly three months, the United Nations has still not condemned the October 7 massacre.”
Thomas-Greenfield announced late Thursday that the United States would support the measure after previously voting four times to postpone a vote on the resolution. In the end, she abstained rather than actively vote in favor of the measure.
“We have some key positions, including that we believe the council should be able to state clearly that Hamas is responsible for starting this conflict,” the diplomat said.
The American diplomat said: “This resolution does some things that the previous resolution did not do.” “First, it denounces all acts of terrorism. This clearly speaks to what Hamas bears responsibility for, even though it does not name them.”
This was stated by US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby on Thursday President Joe Biden He has been in contact with members of his national security team and officials representing the United States and the United Nations regarding discussions surrounding the decision.
Friday's decision comes as the Biden administration has become more vocal in expressing its concerns about the brutality of the war in Gaza.
The United States vetoed previous actions in the UN Security Council and voted against a ceasefire call in the UN General Assembly.
last week, The United Nations General Assembly more broadly The Palestinians voted to demand an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, in a rebuke to the United States, which has repeatedly blocked calls for a ceasefire in the Security Council.
Although the General Assembly vote is politically significant and is seen as having moral weight, it is not binding, unlike a Security Council resolution.
“As with any diplomacy, there will be a settlement,” the American diplomat said. “There is language that we would have preferred to see reinforced. There is language that we would not have been able to formulate in this way.”
This story and headline were updated with additional developments on Friday.
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