UN Security Council members held difficult talks Sunday on a possible resolution over the war between Israel and Hamas, with two drafts on the negotiating table, diplomats said.
On Friday, Russia circulated a draft that calls for “an immediate, durable and fully respected humanitarian ceasefire” in the war triggered by the October 7 Hamas attack from Gaza on southern Israel.
That draft calls for “unimpeded” humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip, which had already been under a years-long Israeli blockade and is now under a full-blown siege, with basics like electricity and food supplies cut off.
The Russian draft, seen by AFP, “strongly condemns all violence and hostilities directed against civilians and all acts of terrorism,” without mentioning Hamas.
But the United States is insisting that the council condemn the Hamas attacks as an act of terrorism. And a competing draft from Brazil does explicitly do that, diplomats said.
More than 1,400 people have been killed in Israel since the attack unleashed last week by Hamas militants, the Israeli prime minister’s office said Sunday.
The death toll in Gaza from Israeli retaliatory attacks has risen to 2,450, the health ministry there said.
Russia’s UN ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said some council members had expressed a “positive” view of Moscow’s draft in a closed door meeting Friday.
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.
To be adopted, a resolution needs at least nine votes on the 15-member body, and cannot be vetoed by any of the five permanent members — the United States, Britain, China, France and Russia.
Diplomats said the talks were tough going, as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict regularly divides the council.
In theory, the text sponsored by Brazil, or one from any other council member, could be put up for a vote if the Russian document is not approved.