Draft resolutions on the Middle East in the UN Security Council

Russia and Brazil have introduced two different draft resolutions to the UN Security Council to address the recent escalation of violence in the Middle East. The Russian text calls, among other things, for a “humanitarian ceasefire” and the release of the hostages kidnapped by the Islamist organization Hamas in the Gaza Strip, as the German Press Agency learned from diplomatic circles. However, Hamas is not directly mentioned in the paper presented behind closed doors yesterday.

Brazil, which currently chairs the most powerful UN body, demands in its draft, in addition to access for humanitarian aid, among other things, that Israel reverse its request to evacuate the civilian population from the northern Gaza Strip. The paper thus follows the statements of the United Nations, which described the evacuation of the densely populated coastal area within 24 hours as impossible and warned of a humanitarian disaster.

The drafts increase pressure on Israel ahead of the expected large-scale ground offensive in the Gaza Strip. It was initially not clear whether the resolutions would be voted on in the Security Council. Acceptance of one of the texts is considered extremely unlikely, especially because the USA has always used its veto right to protect its ally Israel from unwelcome resolutions in the past.

A draft needs at least nine yes votes from the 15 members, and there can be no veto. In addition to the USA, Russia, China, France and Great Britain have veto rights. Last weekend, an emergency meeting of the committee ended without a unanimous stance from the council.

This article is originally published on zeit.de

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