Key deadline passes for Israel resolution after US veto of 'humanitarian pause'

Washington's resolution would emphasise Israel's right to defend itself

US ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield at the Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East. AFP
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The deadline for Washington's amendment period for its UN Security Council resolution on Israel came and went on Sunday morning, amid reports that it was extended.

The original deadline was set for 10am eastern time but was pushed back until 5pm as several UN Security Council members had requested.

A senior diplomat at the UN told The National that the resolution "disregards what 13 Council members and the Secretary-General has been calling for: there is no call for, or even a reference to, any mechanism or means (ceasefire, pause, safe routes, humanitarian corridors) for ensuring the unhindered delivery of humanitarian assistance."

The US Mission to the UN declined to comment on the state of negotiations on the resolution.

The US proposed on Saturday a draft UN Security Council resolution that condemns Hamas and advocates Israel's right to defend itself – with no calls for a ceasefire.

It calls for the protection of civilians – including those who are trying to get to safety – and says that states must comply with international law when responding to “terrorist attacks”, and urges the “continuous, sufficient and unhindered” delivery of aid to the Gaza Strip.

Washington last week vetoed a Brazilian-drafted text that would have called for humanitarian pauses in the conflict between Israel and Palestinian Hamas militants, to allow aid access to Gaza.

US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield justified Wednesday's veto by telling the council more time was needed for diplomacy on the ground.

Updated: October 24, 2023, 1:29 AM