The UN Security Council has announced its intention to convene a discussion on the Israel-Hamas conflict on Monday, as the crisis escalates with Israel preparing for a potential ground offensive in Gaza. The council stated that the deliberations will commence at 6:00 pm (2200 GMT).
Diplomats say two competing draft resolutions are being discussed: one from Russia urging a ceasefire and delivery of humanitarian aid to Gaza, but making no mention of Hamas, and one sponsored by Brazil, calling the Hamas attacks on October 7 that triggered the war an act of terrorism.
The UN agency supporting Palestinian refugees has warned that the Gaza Strip faces an “unprecedented human catastrophe” if supply of water and other vital supplies is not restored by the Israeli authorities.
Russia’s draft resolution calls for “unimpeded” humanitarian aid and “an immediate” ceasefire.
The Brazilian version differs by stating that it “unequivocally rejects and condemns the heinous terrorist attacks by Hamas” and the taking of hostages by the Palestinian militant group.
However, it also “strongly urges” provision of essential goods to Palestinian civilians and urges “humanitarian pauses” to let in humanitarian aid workers.
The United States is insisting that the council condemn the Hamas attacks as terrorism, diplomats say.
To be adopted, a resolution needs at least nine votes on the 15-member body, and cannot be vetoed by any of the five permanent members — the United States, Britain, China, France and Russia.
Diplomats said the talks were tough going, as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict regularly divides the council.
Israel declared war on Hamas a day after waves of its fighters broke through the heavily fortified border, killing more than 1400 people, mostly civilians. Israel has responded by sealing off and bombing Gaza, killing at least 2,750 people, mainly civilians.
Israeli authorities say they are preparing a ground offensive to root out Hamas leaders and their armed supporters.