Saturday, May 25, 2024

For the second day in a row, the United Nations Security Council have delayed a vote on a resolution calling for Israel and Hamas to provide greater access for more humanitarian aid, and pauses in the fighting to make that possible, as diplomats are having discussions about what the United States might let pass.

The announcement of a delay on Tuesday was due to hours of intense, closed-door negotiations and a Security Council session discussing the war in Gaza. Since Friday, the United Arab Emirates, which put forth the resolution, has been circulating the text among members.

The draft resolution proposed suspending the fighting to allow delivery of humanitarian relief to Gaza via land, air and sea and the immediate release of hostages held by Hamas. It also called for establishing a United Nations monitoring system to screen the aid deliveries.

The United States’ main concern, according to several Security Council diplomats, is the proposed U.N. monitoring of aid, and the decision has been referred to the White House. If agreement is not reached, the United States could veto the resolution. Israel is pressuring the United States not to accept the U.N. in charge of inspecting aid deliveries.

Currently, the 100 or so trucks entering Gaza each day travel from Egypt to Israel for inspection before returning to Egypt and reaching the Rafah border. A senior U.S. official stated negotiations are still ongoing and the U.N. inspections are among the points of contention.

The resolution has sparked discussions on whether the council should take action, as conditions worsen for over two million Palestinian civilians in Gaza.

Pressure is increasing on the Biden administration to do more to help Palestinian civilians and to help end the war, both domestically and internationally.

During negotiations, the focus was on finding a middle ground that would have a meaningful effect in Gaza, diplomats said.

The United Arab Emirates modified the resolution to call for a U.N. monitoring system for aid and allow commercial goods into Gaza, stating that humanitarian aid alone will not be sufficient.

The U.N. World Food Program reported that nearly 60 percent of people in Gaza were on the verge of starvation, spreading disease and displacement of more than 1.2 million people in close quarters without proper hygiene and clean water, according to U.N. officials.

Katie Rogers contributed reporting from Washington.

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