UN Security Council to vote today on resolution urging Gaza ceasefire

The UN Security Council is set to meet later today for a vote on urging an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, after UN chief Antonio Guterres took the extraordinary step of invoking the UN charter’s Article 99 to call the vote this week.

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric says that since Wednesday the UN chief has spoken with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and British Foreign Secretary David Cameron and their counterparts from several other countries.

The latest version of the resolution seen by AFP calls the humanitarian situation in Gaza “catastrophic” and “demands an immediate humanitarian ceasefire.”

The short text also calls for the protection of civilians, the immediate and unconditional release of all the hostages Hamas is still holding, and humanitarian access to the Gaza Strip.

The outcome of a vote is not clear — four earlier drafts presented since the war broke out were rejected by the Security Council.

The United States, which rejects the idea of a ceasefire, has said a new resolution from the council at this stage would not be “useful.” It is thought likely to wield its Security Council veto and shield Israel from any such step.

“We again think that the best thing that we can do, all of us, for the situation on the ground, is to let the quiet, behind-the-scene diplomacy that is happening, continue,”  deputy US ambassador, Robert Wood said Thursday.

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