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Thursday, July 18, 2024  
11 Muharram 1446  

UN Security Council calls for pauses in Gaza fighting for aid, Israel rejects

Britain also abstained because there was no condemnation of the Oct. 7 attacks by Hamas
Delegates observe a minute of silence for the victims of the October 7 attack on Israel by Palestinian Islamist group Hamas and for Palestinians who died in the conflict between Israel and Hamas, during a meeting of the United Nations Security Council, at U.N. headquarters in New York, U.S., November 10, 2023. Reuters
Delegates observe a minute of silence for the victims of the October 7 attack on Israel by Palestinian Islamist group Hamas and for Palestinians who died in the conflict between Israel and Hamas, during a meeting of the United Nations Security Council, at U.N. headquarters in New York, U.S., November 10, 2023. Reuters

The United Nations Security Council on Wednesday called for urgent and extended humanitarian pauses in fighting between Israel and Palestinian Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip for a “sufficient number of days” to allow aid access.

The 15-member council overcame an impasse, which saw four unsuccessful attempts to take action last month, to adopt a resolution that also calls for the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages held by Hamas.

Here are the latest updates

  • More than 11,300 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli strikes on Gaza since October 7. In Israel, the official death toll from Hamas’s attacks stands at more than 1,200.
  • Israeli forces launched another raid at the al-Shifa medical complex in Gaza City on Thursday, according to a doctor inside the hospital, as Hamas rejects claims of weapons being uncovered during an hours-long raid on Wednesday.
  • The US abstained from voting on the resolution, which does not mention the word ‘ceasefire’, and Israel has rejected the Security Council’s legally binding decision.
  • Russia, and Britain, who are council veto powers, abstained from Wednesday’s vote on the resolution drafted by Malta. The remaining 12 members voted in favor.
  • The council stalemate has largely been centered on whether to call for a humanitarian pause or a ceasefire. A pause is generally considered less formal and shorter than a ceasefire, which has to be agreed upon by the warring parties. The United States has backed pauses, while Russia has pushed for a ceasefire.
  • Russia failed in a last-minute bid to amend the resolution to call for a truce leading to a cessation of hostilities. Russia abstained because there was no call for an immediate ceasefire, Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia told the council.
  • A car has crashed into a barricade near the Israeli embassy in Tokyo on Thursday and a man in his 50s was arrested on the spot, according to Reuters news agency.

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