UN Security Council to Vote on Call for Humanitarian Ceasefire in Gaza Conflict

by | Dec 19, 2023 | Firm News

Israel conducted airstrikes and continued its ground campaign against Hamas militants in Gaza on Tuesday this week. Simultaneously, the United States mobilized allies to safeguard shipping lanes in the Red Sea from Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen.

The Israeli military targeted Hamas compounds and destroyed a tunnel shaft in southern Gaza. In Rafah, near the Egypt border, at least 20 people were reportedly killed due to Israeli strikes, according to the Hamas-run Gaza health ministry.

As the U.N. Security Council scheduled a Tuesday vote on a resolution urging a pause in Gaza fighting for humanitarian aid deliveries, ongoing negotiations delayed the vote. A previous resolution for a humanitarian cease-fire failed earlier in the month, vetoed by the U.S. in the Security Council. The non-binding U.N. General Assembly approved a similar resolution last week.

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announced a multinational maritime security initiative to protect Red Sea shipping lanes, responding to Houthi rebels’ repeated attacks. The Pentagon reported 100 Houthi attacks on vessels using drones and ballistic missiles.

Freight companies rerouted shipments due to Houthi attacks, taking longer paths around southern Africa’s Cape of Good Hope. Israel vowed to destroy Hamas after an October incursion, resulting in casualties and displacement. The conflict has claimed thousands of lives, with the UNRWA estimating 85% of Gaza’s population displaced and seeking shelter in overcrowded U.N. facilities in southern Gaza.