US circulates draft UN resolution on Israel's right to defend itself

US vetoed a widely supported resolution on Wednesday

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres visited the Egyptian side of the Rafah border crossing to the Gaza Strip on Friday. AFP
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The US on Saturday circulated the text of a draft UN Security Council resolution that emphasises Israel’s right to defend itself and calls for a two-state solution.

The resolution comes after the US vetoed a Brazil-drafted text on Wednesday calling for “humanitarian pauses” in the Israel-Hamas conflict to allow humanitarian aid access to the Gaza Strip.

Washington blocked the measure, which would otherwise have passed, with 12 Security Council members supporting it, because it made no mention that Israel had a right to defend itself.

The four-page US-drafted resolution, seen by The National, reaffirms “Israel’s inherent right of individual or collective self-defence as reflected in Article 51 of the Charter”, and notes that, in responding to terrorist attacks, member states must comply with all their obligations under international law.

It states that Iran must cease the export of all arms and related materiel to armed militias and terrorist groups threatening peace and security across the region, including Hamas”.

The motion stresses that: “Hamas does not stand for the Palestinian people’s right to dignity and self-determination” and urges support for “diplomatic efforts to achieve a comprehensive peace based on the vision of a region where two democratic states, Israel and Palestine, live side by side in peace with secure and recognised borders as envisioned in its prior resolutions”.

A UN diplomat told The National that the US draft contains “significant gaps”, saying that it fails to accurately depict the gravity of the situation in Gaza.

Even though the document welcomes “the announcement on 21 October 2023 by the secretary general of the initial provision of humanitarian supplies to civilians in Gaza via the Rafah crossing”, it makes no reference to ceasefire, humanitarian pause or safe routes, for ensuring the unhindered delivery of humanitarian assistance.

The text fails to condemn the indiscriminate attacks on civilians and civilian objects and calls on all states to try and stop the "violence in Gaza from spilling over or expanding to other areas in the region, including by demanding the immediate cessation by Hezbollah and other armed-groups of all attacks."

According to the UN, more than 4,000 people have been killed, 30 per cent of homes in Gaza have been destroyed or damaged. And 1.4 million people have been displaced.

In an interview on the Solovyov Live TV channel, Russia’s UN deputy ambassador Dmitry Polyansky said Moscow intends to hold another Security Council meeting on the humanitarian situation in Gaza and the war between Israel and militant group Hamas.

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Updated: October 23, 2023, 12:34 AM