US complicit in altering UN Gaza resolution amid rising global frustration

Amidst global outcry, the U.S. significantly alters a U.N. resolution on Gaza, diminishing calls for a cease-fire and raising questions about the effectiveness of proposed humanitarian aid under continued conflict.

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The latest developments at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) have sparked significant international concern. The Biden administration’s role in modifying a draft resolution originally calling for a suspension of hostilities in the Gaza Strip has come under scrutiny. The revised draft, circulated by the United Arab Emirates, has notably omitted crucial language that initially aimed to expedite humanitarian aid delivery to Gaza, where hundreds of thousands face starvation.

In the altered draft, the U.S., a primary ally and arms supplier to Israel, played a pivotal role in postponing the vote and influencing the resolution’s content. Israel had urged the U.S., which possesses veto power at the UNSC, to oppose the language calling for a suspension of hostilities. The current draft, set for consideration, requests the appointment of a U.N. official to coordinate and verify humanitarian aid to Gaza while consulting relevant parties. This version significantly differs from the initial draft, which demanded an “urgent and sustainable cessation of hostilities.” After U.S. intervention, the language was moderated to call for a “suspension” of hostilities, and the latest version endorses only “urgent steps” towards a sustainable cessation of hostilities.

Global reactions to these changes have been overwhelmingly critical. Trita Parsi, executive vice president of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, expressed his dissatisfaction on social media, condemning the resolution’s dilution. He criticized the Biden administration for essentially managing war crimes for Israel, asserting that the modified resolution allows the continuation of violence in Gaza. The downgrading of the resolution’s language has led many to question its potential effectiveness in alleviating the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

The U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Linda Thomas-Greenfield, refrained from committing to a positive vote on the resolution. However, she denied that the resolution had been watered down, claiming it remained strong and supported by the Arab group. She asserted that the draft met their requirements for facilitating humanitarian assistance on the ground. Despite her assurances, many aid groups and observers challenged this view, doubting the possibility of increasing aid delivery amidst ongoing bombings and hostilities in Gaza.

The humanitarian situation in Gaza has reached a critical point. With the death toll exceeding 20,000, the region faces a growing risk of famine. Organizations like Oxfam have highlighted the severe impact of Israel’s attacks on Gaza’s fragile food system, leading to widespread starvation. Aleema Shivji, Oxfam’s acting Chief Executive, emphasized the dire situation, stating that most people in Gaza are unable to feed themselves and their families. She warned of the impending risk of famine unless an immediate ceasefire and a significant scale-up of humanitarian aid occur.

International reactions have been strongly critical of the draft resolution’s limitations. Mohamed ElBaradei, an Egyptian legal scholar and former director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, described the draft as a travesty, lacking substance and effectiveness. Oxfam’s Shivji criticized those within the international community who have not taken action to restrain Israel’s military actions in Gaza. She held them responsible for the escalating crisis, declaring, “This scandal is on your watch.”

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Jordan Atwood is a dynamic War and Politics Reporter known for his incisive analysis and comprehensive coverage of international conflicts and political landscapes. His work is driven by a commitment to uncovering the truth and providing a clear, informed understanding of complex geopolitical events. Jordan's reporting not only captures the realities of war but also delves into the political strategies and implications behind them, making his work essential for those seeking a deeper understanding of world affairs.

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