UN to vote on US-sponsored bill calling for Israel-Hamas ceasefire

US United Nations (UN) Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield (centre) addresses a meeting of the UN Security Council on the war in Gaza, on March 11, 2024, at UN headquarters.
US United Nations (UN) Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield (centre) addresses a meeting of the UN Security Council on the war in Gaza, on March 11, 2024, at UN headquarters. Copyright AP
Copyright AP
By Euronews with AP
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The United Nations Security Council is today expected to vote on a bill spearheaded by the United States calling for an "immediate and sustained ceasefire" in the Israel-Hamas war. The war as it stands has claimed the lives of more than 30,000 people.


The UN Security Council will today vote on a resolution declaring “an immediate and sustained ceasefire” in Gaza. The US-sponsored bill aims to protect civilians and enable the delivery of humanitarian aid to more than two million Palestinian people.

The US has already vetoed several draft resolutions. 

A previous draft of the bill shared earlier this month emphasised a hostage deal in supporting international efforts for a ceasefire. But the new document does not link an immediate pause with the release of hostages captured on the 7 October attack.

“Toward that end", however, it would unequivocally support diplomatic efforts “to secure such a ceasefire in connection with the release of all remaining hostages," according to the bill.

US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield said she was "optimistic" the measure would be supported. "That’s why it took us so long, because we worked so hard,” she said, referring to the work of the 15 UN Security Council members.

Russia’s deputy UN ambassador Dmitry Polyansky told reporters that US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is pressing for an immediate ceasefire and if the resolution calls for an immediate ceasefire “we will, of course, support it.”

But he questioned the wording of the US draft, asking: “What’s an imperative? I have an imperative to give you 100 dollars, but … it’s only an imperative, not 100 dollars.”

“So, somebody’s fooling around, I think, (with the) international community,” Polyansky said. “We are not satisfied with anything that doesn’t call for immediate ceasefire. I think everybody is not satisfied with this. Even Secretary Blinken is not satisfied.”

Rafah ground offensive

The final US draft stated the council would emphasise its concern that a ground offensive into Rafah “would result in further harm to civilians and their further displacement, potentially into neighbouring countries, and would have serious implications for regional peace and security.”

Blinken said a major military operation into Rafah would be a "mistake" and "something we don't support".

"It's also not necessary to deal with Hamas, which is necessary," he said. "We're going to have an opportunity next week to share in detail that view with our Israeli counterparts and to lay out our views on how to deal with the problem differently."

Meanwhile, EU leaders last night unanimously called for an "immediate humanitarian pause leading to a sustainable ceasefire in Gaza".

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