1 of 5 | Permanent Representative of Russia Vassily Nebenzia votes on an amendment to a draft resolution at a Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question, in the Security Council Chamber at United Nations Headquarters on Wednesday in New York City. The Security Council meets again in response to the worsening Israel-Palestine crisis. The 15-member session is expected to vote on a draft resolution. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo
Nov. 15 (UPI) -- The U.N. Security Council adopted a resolution Wednesday calling for "urgent and extended humanitarian pauses" in the ongoing Israel-Hamas war in Gaza, the release of all hostages held by Hamas and safe passageways for aid workers.
The final draft, proposed by Malta, does not mention a cease-fire or the surprise attack on Israel by Hamas that killed about 1,200 people. Hamas also took some 240 people hostage. It also does not cite the ongoing air and ground strikes on Gaza by Israel that have killed thousands.
Twelve countries approved the measure, with the United States, Russia and the United Kingdom abstaining.
U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield and U.K. Ambassador Barbara Woodward both said they could not vote yes on the text because it did not condemn Hamas for its Oct. 7 attack. Thomas-Greenfield said she also couldn't vote yes because it did not affirm the right of member states to protect their citizens from terrorist attacks.
"While this text does not include a condemnation of Hamas, this is the first time we've ever adopted a resolution that even mentions the word 'Hamas,'" she said.
Russian Ambassador Vasily Nebenzia wondered aloud about who will implement and monitor the safe corridors and civilian protections spelled out in the resolution.
"The council will need to make a decision on further steps", the Russian ambassador said.
The vote was the Security Council's fifth attempt to pass a resolution on the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza.
The International Rescue Committee (IRC) said with the resolution in place, it is now incumbent on "U.N. member states to do everything in their power to help turn these words into action."
"The suffering in Gaza is a massive humanitarian emergency which the world must address. The entire civilian population requires urgent, life-saving support and the response capacity has been decimated," the IRC said. "A humanitarian cease-fire must last long enough to scale up aid, establish safe movement of aid workers, and identify, communicate and protect routes to safety for civilians. It must also enable the safe release of hostages held by Hamas. This is the bare minimum needed."