The UN Security Council has passed a resolution calling for “urgent and extended humanitarian pauses and corridors throughout the Gaza Strip” to allow for aid delivery and medical evacuations, after four failed attempts to respond to the Israel-Hamas war.
The resolution, introduced by Malta on Wednesday, also called for “corridors throughout the Gaza Strip for a sufficient number of days” to safeguard civilians, particularly children, ambassador Vanessa Frazier told the Council.
It additionally asked for the unconditional release of captives held in Gaza.
It was adopted by 12 votes in favour, zero against and three abstentions – Russia, the United States and the United Kingdom.
“It is binding international law, but we know that there are many Security Council resolutions that are binding international law that Israel does not comply with. But I think it will add added pressure on Israel, particularly as the US allowed this resolution to go through – it could’ve used its veto,” said Al Jazeera’s diplomatic editor James Bays.
“Out of the previous four resolutions that didn’t go through, probably the one nearest to going through was the one on October 18, that’s when all the countries either voted for, or abstained, and the only country that voted against was the United States – it wielded its veto,” Bays said.
“We’ve had 29 days since that date, and we know all the death toll figures are undercounted, but in that time there have been 7,600 more deaths and 3,653 of those deaths were children. What was called for then was a resolution calling for humanitarian pauses,” he added.
The resolution made no mention of a ceasefire. It also didn’t refer to Hamas’s attack on Israel on October 7, during which Israeli authorities say about 1,200 people were killed and some 240 were taken captive.