Israel cut off all supplies of water, food, medicine, electricity and fuel to the Gaza Strip (Anadolu Agency)

Diplomatic sources told Al Jazeera that the vote on a draft Security Council resolution to expand aid to the Gaza Strip has been postponed until tomorrow at the request of the United States.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the United States continues to engage intensively and constructively with a number of countries to try to resolve some of the outstanding issues regarding the Security Council resolution on Gaza.

Blinken added at the annual year-end press conference that Washington supports facilitating humanitarian access to Gaza.

He pointed out that the humanitarian issue was the point of contention, with Israel insisting on full control of supplies entering the Gaza Strip, and said that "the aim of the resolution, as the countries that sponsored it, is to facilitate the entry and expansion of humanitarian assistance into Gaza. We fully support that."

After more than a week of negotiations and several days of delays in the vote, diplomats said the United States was unhappy that the draft resolution required U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to establish a U.N. mechanism in Gaza "to exclusively monitor all humanitarian relief shipments to Gaza by land, sea and air to those countries not parties to the conflict."

Diplomats said Washington was also concerned about the reference to a cessation of hostilities and demanding that Israel and Hamas allow and facilitate the use of all land, sea and air routes to and throughout the Gaza Strip for the delivery of humanitarian aid.

The US has already vetoed twice a move in the Security Council since the war began on October 7.

The United States and Israel oppose the ceasefire, believing it would only benefit Hamas, and Washington instead supports a truce to protect civilians and allow the release of Hamas detainees.

Earlier this month, the 193-member U.N. General Assembly called for a humanitarian ceasefire, with 153 countries voting in favor of the move, which the United States vetoed in the Security Council days ago.

First direct aid

In a related context, the World Food Program announced on Wednesday the delivery of the first direct aid convoy from Jordan to the Gaza Strip through the Kerem Shalom crossing, including 46 trucks carrying 750 tons of food aid.

This is the first time a direct aid convoy from Jordan has arrived in the Strip since the war began on Oct. 7.

On Friday, Israel temporarily approved the unloading of trucks on the Palestinian side of the Kerem Shalom crossing with the Gaza Strip, instead of returning them to the Rafah crossing with Egypt.

The Kerem Shalom crossing in Rafah, located at the Egyptian-Palestinian-Israeli border point, is intended for commercial traffic between the Gaza Strip and Israel, and has been used more than once as an alternative to the Rafah crossing.

It is worth noting that the Rafah crossing is the only one open for the entry of humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip after the seven-day truce between Hamas and Israel that ended earlier this month.

Coinciding with the devastating war, Israel cut off all supplies of water, food, medicine, electricity and fuel to some 2.3 million Palestinians who were already living in abysmal conditions due to the years-long blockade.

Source : Al Jazeera + Agencies