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[Live] Gaza: a revised text finally voted by the UN with the blessing of the United States?

As the Israeli army intensified its bombardment in the southern Gaza Strip, where the already critical humanitarian situation continues to deteriorate, the UN Security Council is expected to vote on Friday on a largely weakened and redrafted resolution under pressure from the United States, intended to improve humanitarian aid on the ground.

Members of the United Nations Security Council listen to Palestinian Permanent Observer Riyad H. Mansour speak during a Security Council meeting on the Israel-Hamas war at the UN, October 30, 2023, in New York. © Michael M. Santiago / AFP

By: Internet Editorial Board

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Key takeaways

■ After two consecutive days of postponement, a UN Security Council text was expected on Thursday. But the vote has not yet taken place, as the content remains the subject of discussion, and is expected later today with a new text largely revised at the instigation of the United States.

■ Israeli aircraft and artillery heavily bombed the southern part of the enclave, including a crossing point for humanitarian aid. After a two-day pause, Palestinian fighters fired about 30 rockets from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory, where warning sirens sounded in several southern communities and Tel Aviv, according to media reports. Hamas has claimed that Israel's goal of eliminating it is "doomed to failure."

■ French President Emmanuel Macron arrived in Jordan on Thursday to celebrate Christmas with French troops deployed in the country, while Senate President Gerard Larcher continues his visit to Israel and the West Bank.

About 20,000 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli strikes on Gaza since the start of the Israeli operation, according to the Hamas government. More than 52,586people were also injured. According to the enclave's Ministry of Health, 70% of the victims are women and young people under the age of 18. Some 1,140 people were killed in the October 7 attack, according to the latest data provided by the Israeli government. The Israeli military claimed on Thursday to have killed more than 2,000Palestinian fighters since the truce ended in early December. Finally, 129 hostages are still being held in the Gaza Strip.

Information given in Universal Time (UT), to update, click here.

5:00 a.m.: A largely revised and weakened text that the United States assures it can vote on today

The UN Security Council is expected to vote on a resolution on Friday aimed at improving humanitarian aid to Gaza. A largely weakened text that does not call for an immediate cessation of hostilities, but now has the support of the United States. According to diplomatic sources, the new text, the result of fierce negotiations under the threat of a new US veto, no longer resembles the version put on the table on Sunday by the United Arab Emirates.

The new draft resolution drafted on Thursday, seen by AFP, calls for "urgent measures to immediately allow safe and unhindered humanitarian access and also to create the conditions for a lasting cessation of hostilities". The reference to an "urgent and lasting cessation of hostilities" in the first text has disappeared, as has the less direct demand in the next version for an "urgent suspension of hostilities".

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The draft resolution is not weakened. The draft resolution is very strong, fully supported by the Arab group," U.S. Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield said late Thursday. The council, which has been widely criticized for its inaction since the start of the war between Israel and Hamas, has been negotiating hard for several days.

U.S. Deputy Ambassador to the United Nations Robert Wood addresses the United Nations Security Council on December 8, 2023. AFP - CHARLY TRIBALLEAU

The vote, initially scheduled for Monday, has been postponed multiple times, including on Wednesday at the request of the Americans, who had vetoed a previous text calling for a "humanitarian ceasefire" in the Gaza Strip, which has been shelled by Israeli forces. Since the start of the war between Israel and Hamas, the Council has only managed to break its silence once, with the November 8 resolution calling for "humanitarian pauses." He rejected five more bills in two months, two of them due to US vetoes, the last on 15 December. At the time, the U.S. blocked calls for a "humanitarian ceasefire," which Israel also deemed unacceptable.

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Other members of the Council will have to decide whether to swallow a weak text just to get an agreement Richard Gowan, an analyst with the International Crisis Group, said. In particular, he mentions the risk that this text will be "a problem for Russia", which also has a right of veto, and which constantly insists on a ceasefire.

Negotiations have focused in recent hours on the request to set up an aid monitoring mechanism, provided "exclusively" by the UN, to guarantee the humanitarian nature of the deliveries. Israel, which wants to maintain its control over humanitarian convoys, was opposed to this mechanism and the reference to the exclusivity of UN control has disappeared from the latest text.

Another point of contention is the absence of a condemnation of Hamas, castigated by Israel and the United States. The new draft resolution removed the condemnation of "all acts of terrorism" as well as the condemnation of "all indiscriminate attacks against civilians" in previous versions.

01:00: UN Security Council vote postponed again

The UN Security Council vote on a resolution aimed at improving the dire humanitarian situation in Gaza has been postponed again until Friday, several diplomatic sources said on Thursday.

Find here the thread of the day of December 21st

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  • Gaza
  • Palestinian Territories
  • Israel
  • Israeli-Palestinian conflict
  • Binyamin Netanyahu
  • Joe Biden
  • United States