Oct 13, 2023 - World

Israel-Hamas war: Russia drafts Security Council resolution calling for ceasefire

Palestinian citizens inspect the damage to their homes caused by Israeli airstrikes in Gaza City, Photo: Ahmad Hasaballah/Getty Images

Palestinian citizens inspect the damage to their homes caused by Israeli airstrikes in Gaza City, Photo: Ahmad Hasaballah/Getty Images

Russia circulated a draft resolution calling for a ceasefire in Gaza to the members of the UN Security Council on Friday, according to a copy of the draft obtained by Axios.

Why it matters: The resolution, if passed, would likely be vetoed, but the Russian move is expected to put pressure on the Biden administration and could push more countries to call for a ceasefire.

  • Several Western countries have so far refrained from calling for an outright ceasefire, insisting instead that Israel has a right to defend itself after last Saturday's Hamas attack.

Driving the news: A diplomatic source told Axios the Russians circulated the draft resolution and asked member states to give their comments about it by Saturday at noon.

  • The draft resolution expresses grave concern over the escalation in violence and the deepening humanitarian crisis in Gaza and emphasizes that Israeli and Palestinian civilians must be protected.
  • The draft resolution calls "for an immediate, durable and fully respected humanitarian ceasefire."
  • The resolution "strongly condemns all violence and hostilities directed against civilians and all acts of terrorism" but doesn't mention Hamas and its attack against Israel.
  • The draft resolution also calls for the secure release of all hostages, the unimpeded provision and distribution of humanitarian assistance and for creating conditions for the safe evacuation of civilians in need.

What they're saying: The Russian ambassador to the UN said in a statement after a closed Security Council meeting on Friday that the region is on the brink of a full-scale war.

  • He said that "what happened on Israeli territory on Oct. 7 is unacceptable" and said Israel has the right to defend itself.
  • But he added that Israel's "collective punishment" and "indiscriminate shelling of civilian area" is also unacceptable.
  • He claimed the U.S. ignores the context that led to Hamas' attack and said the U.S. to a "large extent" is to blame for what happened — a claim that echoed that of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who the U.S. said this week "has no credibility when it comes to the loss of innocent life."
  • The Russian ambassador added that "Russia can't accept the complete inaction of the Security Council."

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