The UN Security Council passed a UAE-sponsored resolution by a 13-0 vote Friday calling for an increase in humanitarian aid to Gaza, with both the US and Russia abstaining. The resolution reportedly called for “steps toward a sustainable cessation of hostilities” in the ongoing Israel-Hamas War instead of an immediate ceasefire.The Security Council urged all parties to refrain from depriving Gaza’s population of basic necessities and urged the “immediate, safe and unhindered delivery of humanitarian assistance at scale directly to the Palestinian civilian population.” The resolution included an explicit demand that fuel be allowed into the Gaza Strip for humanitarian purposes.  It also directed UN Secretary-General António Guterresto appoint a coordinator to oversee the provision of aid.In response to the resolution’s passage, UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron said in a press release:This resolution repeats so many of the points we have been making: The importance of complying with international humanitarian law [and] [t]he need to reduce civilian casualties. [I]t also backs a two-state solution that would be the best long term guarantee of security and stability for both Israel and the Palestinian people.Linda Thomas-Greenfield, permanent representative of the US the UN, applauded the council’s efforts to “allow safe, unhindered, and expanded humanitarian access to Gaza.” However, she qualified her statement by saying that the US was “appalled” by the council’s decision not to condemn Hamas’s October 7 attack on Israel in the resolution, even though the resolution called for Hamas to release its hostages abducted from Israel.Russian UN Ambassador Vasily Nebenzya explained his country’s abstention, saying that the US “is playing an extremely underhanded game, forcing into the text an essential license for Israel to kill Palestinian civilians in Gaza under the pretext of, and I quote, ‘of creating conditions for a cessation of hostilities.’” Nebenzya also said the US vetoed a Russian amendment to the resolution that would have included an “extremely weak” call for a cessation of hostilities.The US previously vetoed a Security Council resolution calling for a ceasefire earlier this month, and it vetoed another ceasefire resolution in October.Palestine’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Riyad Mansour, welcomed the resolution and expressed support for the failed Russian ceasefire amendment while Israel says it will continue to inspect aid going into Gaza to prevent the entry of weapons into Gaza.According to Gaza’s health ministry, 20,000 people have been killed amid Israel’s offensive in the region.

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