According to diplomats, UN Security Council members resumed arduous talks Sunday on a possible resolution to the conflict between Israel and Hamas, with two drafts on the table.
On Friday, Russia circulated a draft resolution calling for “an immediate, durable, and fully respected humanitarian ceasefire” in the conflict sparked by the Hamas onslaught from Gaza on southern Israel on October 7.
That draft demands for “unimpeded” humanitarian relief to the Gaza Strip, which has been under an Israeli embargo for years and is now under a full-fledged siege, with basic necessities like electricity and food supplies blocked off.
The Russian draft, seen by AFP, “strongly condemns all violence and hostilities directed against civilians and all acts of terrorism,” without mentioning Hamas.
However, the US insists that the council condemn the Hamas strikes as terrorist acts. According to officials, a competing proposal from Brazil openly states this.
According to the Israeli prime minister’s office, more than 1,400 people have been killed in Israel since the Hamas-led offensive last week.
According to Gaza’s health ministry, the death toll from Israeli retaliatory attacks has grown to 2,450.
Russia’s UN envoy, Vassily Nebenzia, claimed in a closed-door meeting Friday that several council members offered “positive” views on Moscow’s draft.
After seeking suggestions for changes to the text, Russia asked Brazil, the council’s current chair, to put it up for a vote on Monday.
But no vote has been scheduled yet, diplomats said.
A resolution requires at least nine votes on the 15-member council to be adopted, and it cannot be vetoed by any of the five permanent members – the United States, the United Kingdom, China, France, and Russia.
Diplomats said the negotiations were difficult since the Israeli-Palestinian conflict frequently divides the Security Council.
If the Russian paper is not approved, the text sponsored by Brazil, or one sponsored by any other council member, could be submitted to a vote.