The UN Security Council vote on increased aid to Gaza faces another day of delay as the US and the UAE work to reach an agreement on language addressing the Israel-Hamas conflict and the establishment of UN aid monitoring. The vote was originally scheduled for Monday but has been postponed multiple times. US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield stated on Tuesday that “we are trying, we really are”
The proposed resolution calls for Israel and Hamas to permit and facilitate the transportation of aid via land, sea, and air to the Gaza Strip. Additionally, it seeks UN monitoring of humanitarian assistance entering the Palestinian enclave.
Diplomats said the United States wants to tone done language that “calls for the urgent suspension of hostilities to allow safe and unhindered humanitarian access, and for urgent steps towards a sustainable cessation of hostilities.”
The United States and Israel oppose a ceasefire, as they believe it would primarily benefit Hamas. Instead, Washington favors temporary halts in fighting to protect civilians and facilitate the release of hostages held by Hamas. Historically, the U.S. has consistently shielded Israel from Security Council actions, having already vetoed such measures twice since the October 7th attack attributed to Hamas, which Israel claims resulted in 1,200 casualties and 240 people being taken hostage.
Israel has retaliated against Hamas by bombarding Gaza from the air, imposing a siege and launching a ground offensive. Nearly 20,000 Palestinians have been killed, according to Gaza health officials. U.N. officials warn of a humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza with the majority of the coastal Palestinian enclave’s 2.3 million people driven from their homes
Nate Evans, spokesperson for the U.S. mission to the U.N., said on Tuesday: “We believe there needs to be a large increase in humanitarian aid to Gaza, as we have worked to achieve on the ground through our diplomacy. We continue to work constructively with council members on this product.”
On Sunday the Israel-controlled Kerem Shalom crossing into Gaza opened for aid trucks for the first time since the outbreak of war, officials said, in a move to double the amount of food and medicine reaching Gaza.
The U.N. Office for the Coordinations of Humanitarian Affairs said on Tuesday that on Sunday 102 aid trucks and four tankers of fuel had entered Gaza via the Rafah and 79 trucks entered Gaza via Kerem Shalom.
“This is well below the daily average of 500 truckloads (including fuel and private sector goods) that entered every working day prior to 7 October,” it said in a statement.