UN Security Council delays vote on Gaza resolution to Friday despite US support

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The United Nations Security Council once again pushed back a vote for a much-delayed resolution on the war between Hamas and Israel, diplomatic sources said Thursday.

The postponement to Friday came even as the United States, which has opposed a number of proposals during the resolution’s drafting, said it was ready to support it in its current form.

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After days of delays, the latest draft version seen by AFP calls for “urgent steps to immediately allow safe and unhindered humanitarian access, and also for creating the conditions for a sustainable cessation of hostilities.” It does not call for an immediate end to fighting.

Washington’s UN ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield told reporters that “if the resolution is put forward as is, then we can support it.”

She denied that the draft resolution had been watered down.

“The draft resolution is a very strong resolution that is fully supported by the Arab group,” she said.

Diplomatic wrangling at United Nations headquarters in Manhattan -- causing the vote to be postponed several times this week -- has come against the backdrop of deteriorating conditions in Gaza and a mounting death toll.

“It looks like the US has taken full advantage of other Council members’ desire to avoid a veto. But the resulting text is starting to look very weak in many parts,” said International Crisis Group analyst Richard Gowan.

The United Arab Emirates is sponsoring the resolution on the conflict which has been amended in several key areas to secure compromise, according to the draft version seen by AFP.

It demands all sides “allow and facilitate the use of all... routes to and throughout the entire Gaza Strip, including border crossings... for the provision of humanitarian assistance.”

Israel bombed a newly reopened aid crossing on Thursday, Hamas authorities said.

Members of the 15-member council have been grappling for days to find common ground on the resolution.

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