ER Editor: A reminder that Russia took over the presidency of the UN Security Council in April of 2023. See —
Russia asks UN Security Council for ‘immediate’ ceasefire in Gaza, Israel
Russia has asked the United Nations Security Council to vote Monday on a draft resolution that called for an “immediate” ceasefire in the Gaza Strip and Israel, blaming the United States for the unfolding situation in the Middle East.
On Saturday, Dmitry Polyanskiy, Russia’s Deputy UN Ambassador, said no changes had been made to the text since it was given to the council on Friday and that he expected the vote to be scheduled for 3 p.m. EDT (1900 GMT) on Monday.
Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Vassily Nebenzia presented the draft resolution which also demands the secure release of all hostages, and “strongly condemns all violence and hostilities directed against civilians and all acts of terrorism.”
The draft resolution, given to the 15-member council during a closed-door meeting on the situation in Gaza, also calls for humanitarian aid access and the safe evacuation of civilians in need.
“We’re convinced that the Security Council must act to put an end to the bloodshed and restart peace negotiations with a view to establishing a Palestinian state as it was supposed to do so long ago,” Nebenzia said on Friday.
He also blamed the United States for bearing “responsibility for the looming war in the Middle East,” and criticized European Commission head Ursula von der Leyen for “turning a blind eye to the Israeli air force attacks on civilian infrastructure in the Gaza Strip.”
According to Nebenzia, there were positive responses to the draft resolution among some member states.
Meanwhile, Chinese Ambassador to the UN Zhang Jun said that “there is an emerging consensus on the humanitarian concerns,” adding “We are open to all efforts which will help cease the fire, help de-escalate the tension.”
A UNSC resolution needs at least nine votes in favor and no vetoes by the US, Britain, France, China, or Russia. The United States has traditionally shielded its ally Israel from any Security Council action.
Palestinian resistance movement Hamas launched Operation Al-Aqsa Storm last Saturday, penetrating deep into the territories occupied by the Israel regime, by carrying out large-scale air, land, and sea strikes.
The operation was a reaction to the recurring desecration of the al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied al-Quds as well as intensified Israeli atrocities against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank.
Following the surprise operation, some 1,300 were killed and more than 3,400 wounded in Israel. Hundreds of others, including senior Israeli military officials, are held as war prisoners in Gaza.
Israel also responded with intensive air strikes on civilian targets in the Gaza Strip, killing at least 2,329 Palestinians in Gaza and wounding 9,714 others, according to the territory’s health ministry.
The regime has also laid a siege to Gaza, leaving the city, home to more than 2.3 million Palestinians, without water, electricity, and internet.
Tel Aviv is making preparations to launch a ground invasion of the Gaza Strip, after telling Palestinians living in the densely populated territory to move out of the area, something the UN had called “impossible.”
More than 420,000 people have been displaced within the Gaza Strip. A total of 270,374 out of 423,378 internally displaced people are now in UN shelters and schools while at least 15 hospitals have been damaged by Israeli shelling and airstrikes.
So far, several Western countries have refrained from calling for an outright ceasefire, claiming that Israel has “a right to defend itself” after the Hamas operation.
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