Negotiations underway at UN ahead of vote on resolution calling for halt in hostilities in Gaza

A UN Security Council vote on a resolution meant to spur more humanitarian aid into Gaza has been delayed again and is now expected Wednesday, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

Intense negotiations were underway at the United Nations ahead of an expected vote Tuesday on a resolution calling for a halt in hostilities to allow much needed aid to enter Gaza, according to diplomats.

Diplomats had been working behind closed doors to finalize a resolution drafted by the United Arab Emirates.

The vote was originally scheduled for Monday, but was delayed a day to allow more time for negotiations.

The delay into Wednesday suggests agreement hasn’t yet been reached on language that could gain a “yes” vote from the United States, or at least an abstention, which would allow the measure to pass.

“We’re still working through the modalities of the resolution,” US National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby told CNN during a Tuesday afternoon briefing at the White House. “It’s important for us that the rest of the world understand what’s at stake here and what Hamas did on the 7th of October and how Israel has a right to defend itself against those threats.”

The draft resolution is said to have originally included a call for a “cessation of hostilities” to allow much-needed aid to enter Gaza. Diplomats were hopeful that changing the language to “suspension of hostilities” could gain American support.

The US has vetoed previous measures at the UN Security Council and voted against a call for a ceasefire in the larger UN General Assembly.

If the US eventually allows the resolution to pass, it would amount to an important signal to Israel — including from its top ally — of the growing international outcry over the humanitarian situation in Gaza.

During the Security Council meeting, a senior US diplomat said that while the attacks by Hamas on October 7 were atrocities that must be condemned, civilians and journalists must still be protected and vital humanitarian aid needs to reach civilians.

Deputy Ambassador to the UN Robert Wood did not imply how the United States will vote on the upcoming resolution calling for a suspension of hostilities in Gaza to allow for the delivery of critically needed humanitarian aid.

Wood also expressed concern about the alarming increase in Israeli settler violence in the West Bank, saying the United States condemns the violence by settlers and urges the Israeli government to investigate the violence and hold the settlers accountable.

Earlier this month, the United States vetoed a resolution in the 15-member UNSC that included the word “ceasefire” in the text. Wood told the Security Council at the time it was because there was no mention of the October 7 Hamas attacks in the draft.

As one of the five permanent members of the UNSC, a US veto means the resolution will not pass.

According to Nusseibeh, who was involved in drafting the text and leads the 22-member Arab group as a non-permanent member of the UNSC, intensive efforts to pass the latest resolution come amid a “critical” need to stop hostilities and allow in aid as the humanitarian crisis in the enclave reaches “catastrophic” levels.

“Every single day, innocent people in Gaza are struggling desperately for want of food, water, medicine and fuel. Members of the UN Security Council have seen the consequences of this humanitarian catastrophe firsthand, and the need for more aid could not be clearer,” Nusseibeh said.

“This Council resolution responds to that need by opening border crossings, the transport of aid by land, sea, and air, and a UN-led mechanism that would streamline inspection, monitoring, and approvals. It underlines the critical importance of stopping hostilities to allow for the delivery of humanitarian aid and we will continue to aggressively pursue that goal.”

Nusseibeh also said, “These deliverables are important to save lives, and our approach – from the start – has been focused on ensuring adoption. That has been the basis of our engagement with Council Members, including the US, in the negotiations with whom we have been discussing this text closely and in good faith alongside the concerned Arab countries.”

Last week, the wider United Nations General Assembly voted to demand an immediate ceasefire in war-torn Gaza, in a rebuke to the United States, which has repeatedly blocked ceasefire calls in the Security Council. While the General Assembly vote is politically significant and seen as wielding moral weight, it is nonbinding, unlike a Security Council resolution.

This story has been updated with additional reporting.

CNN’s Michael Williams contributed to this report.


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