US to bring resolution calling for ceasefire in Gaza for vote in UN on Friday

By Thomson Reuters Mar 21, 2024 | 3:44 PM

By Daphne Psaledakis and Simon Lewis

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The United States will bring a U.N. draft resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and an Israel-Hamas hostage deal to a Security Council vote on Friday morning, a U.S. spokesperson said.

The latest version of the draft resolution, seen by Reuters, says an “immediate and sustained ceasefire” lasting roughly six weeks would protect civilians and allow for the delivery of humanitarian assistance.

The resolution “unequivocally supports ongoing international diplomatic efforts to secure such a ceasefire in connection with the release of all remaining hostages,” it reads, referring to ongoing talks brokered by the United States, Egypt and Qatar.

Nate Evans, spokesperson for the U.S. mission to the United Nations, said on Thursday that the 15-member council would vote on Friday morning on the text negotiated in “many rounds of consultations” with Security Council members.

To pass, a resolution needs at least nine votes and no vetoes by the U.S., France, Britain, Russia or China.

The U.S. has wanted any Security Council support for a ceasefire to be linked to the release of hostages held by Hamas in Gaza. Hamas attacked Israel on Oct. 7, killing 1,200 people and taking 253 hostages, according to Israeli tallies.

During the five-month-long war, Washington has vetoed three draft resolutions, two which would have demanded an immediate ceasefire. Most recently, the U.S. justified its veto by saying such council action could jeopardize efforts by the U.S., Egypt and Qatar to broker a pause in the war and release of hostages.

The U.S. traditionally shields Israel at the United Nations, but it has also abstained twice, allowing the council to adopt resolutions that aimed to boost aid to Gaza and called for extended pauses in fighting.

(Reporting by Daphne Psaledakis and Simon Lewis; Editing by Leslie Adler and Cynthia Osterman)