The United Nations Security Council on Friday adopted a resolution that would allow more aid to reach desperate civilians in the Gaza Strip, ending nearly a week of intense diplomatic wrangling intended to prevent the United States from blocking the measure. But the resolution stopped short of past attempts to impose a cease-fire.
The vote was 13 to 0, with the United States and Russia abstaining.
The resolution was adopted after diplomats repeatedly delayed the vote this week and reworked the measure in heated negotiations aimed at winning support from the United States, which previously vetoed two resolutions that called for a cease-fire in the war between Israel and Hamas.
The measure did not impose a legally binding cease-fire and instead called for “urgent and extended humanitarian pauses and corridors throughout the Gaza Strip for a sufficient number of days to enable full, rapid, safe and unhindered humanitarian access.”
It also dropped from earlier drafts demands for the “urgent suspension of hostilities,” replacing them with more watered-down language that recommended creating “the conditions for a sustainable cessation of hostilities.”
“We know this is not a perfect text,” Lana Zaki Nusseibeh, the U.N. ambassador from the United Arab Emirates, told the Security Council on Friday. “We know only a cease-fire will end the suffering.”
But she added, “The purpose of the text is very simple: It responds with action to the dire humanitarian situation on the ground for the Palestinian people bearing the brunt of this conflict, while protecting those who are trying to deliver lifesaving aid.”
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