The UN Security Council passed Resolution 2720 aimed at accelerating humanitarian aid to Gaza’s distressed civilians. The resolution emphasizes immediate, safe, and expanded aid access but doesn’t include the original call for an “urgent suspension of hostilities” between Israel and Hamas.
Key points of the resolution include:
- Demands parties to allow safe and unhindered aid delivery throughout Gaza.
- Requests a UN coordinator for humanitarian efforts in Gaza.
- Calls for the release of hostages and ensuring medical access for them.
- Supports the two-state solution and unification of Gaza with the West Bank under the Palestinian Authority.
The resolution was presented by the United Arab Emirates and gained support from 13 council members, with the United States and Russia abstaining. The vote followed a U.S. veto of a Russian amendment pushing for a “suspension of hostilities.”
US Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield was the first to speak after the vote, describing the resolution as “a glimmer of hope amongst a sea of unimaginable suffering”.
Egyptian Ambassador and Permanent Representative Osama Mahmoud Abdelkhalek welcomed the adoption of the resolution, “a step in the right direction” to address the humanitarian impact of the war and ensure that aid will be delivered unhindered through a UN-supervised mechanism.
Brett Jonathan Miller, Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative of Israel, said while it took the Security Council one day to condemn a terrorist attack against police officers in Iran, 77 days have passed since Hamas attacked and murdered 1,300 civilians in Israel and took 250 hostages, “this Council still has yet to issue a single statement condemning Hamas and their atrocities.”
Riyad Mansour, Permanent Observer of the Observer State of Palestine, said that the Security Council first met to address the crisis when hundreds of Palestinians had been killed by Israel.
Speaking in his national capacity, José Javier De La Gasca, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Ecuador, the President of the Security Council for December, said that the vote was the outcome of careful negotiations, good faith and constructive spirit.
Russian Ambassador Nebenzia recalled the amendment proposed by his delegation and said that the vote on it was a moment of truth.
said that the resolution calls for urgent measures to be taken to create the conditions for a lasting cessation of hostilities.
Chinese representative Dai Bing expressed hope for improved aid delivery but stressed effective implementation. Palestinian representative Riyad Mansour highlighted the dire situation in Gaza, calling for an end to Israeli actions and urging massive pressure for an immediate ceasefire.
The revised resolution, focusing on aid and conditions for the cessation of hostilities, came after tense negotiations and the U.S. previously vetoing a similar ceasefire call.