Russia calls for ‘unimpeded’ provision of humanitarian aid to Gaza

Moscow circulates draft resolution condemning all violence and acts of terrorism

Vasily Nebenzya, Russia's UN representative, speaks during a meeting of the Security Council. AP
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Russia submitted to the UN Security Council on Friday the text of a draft resolution calling for the “unimpeded” provision and distribution of humanitarian assistance to Gaza.

The one-page draft resolution, seen by The National, strongly condemns all violence and acts of terrorism, “in particular the resulting heavy civilian casualties; and emphasising that the Israeli and Palestinian civilian population must be protected”.

It states that a “lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can only be achieved by peaceful means” on the basis of UN resolutions.

The text, which also calls for the secure release of all hostages, was circulated to Security Council members during the closed-door meeting on the ongoing crisis.

Moscow's UN ambassador Vasily Nebenzya told reporters after the meeting the escalation of the situation on the ground is extremely worrying and appalling, warning that the region is on the brink of a full-scale war and unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe.

He unequivocally condemned the acts of “extreme brutality killings” and said violence against peaceful civilians, both Israeli and Palestinian, is “inadmissible”.

“What happened on October 7 on the Israeli territory is unacceptable,” he stressed.

The Russian diplomat also said Washington has failed to adequately address “the current circumstances”.

“As you could have noticed, not a single western delegation called for an open meeting on the situation in the Middle East, while they use every fake pretext to call for the discussions of the situation in Ukraine for various political reasons,” he said.

"Russia cannot accept the complete inaction and lack of any reaction on the part of the UNSC," added Mr Nebenzya.

Shortly thereafter, Brazil also presented its draft resolution denouncing the "terrorist attacks by Hamas" and calling on Israel to "immediately rescind its order" for civilians to evacuate northern Gaza.

Ahead of the session, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres warned that the situation in Gaza has reached a “dangerous new low”.

“We need immediate humanitarian access throughout Gaza so that we can get fuel, food and water to everyone in need,” he said.

Earlier, Palestinian UN envoy Riyad Mansour appealed to the UN chief to do more to stop a “crime against humanity” by Israel, which has ordered nearly half of the population of the Gaza Strip to relocate ahead of a possible invasion.

“Whatever was done was not sufficient,” he said. “We need all of us to do more to stop this crime against humanity.”

Updated: October 14, 2023, 1:52 AM