December 22, 2023 | Flash Brief

United Nations Security Council Passes Israel Resolution

December 22, 2023 | Flash Brief

United Nations Security Council Passes Israel Resolution

Latest Developments

After a series of delays, the United Nations Security Council on December 22 approved a resolution focusing on the humanitarian situation in Gaza. The 15-member body passed the resolution 13-0, with the United States and Russia abstaining.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Egypt proposed a resolution on December 18 calling for the “urgent suspension of hostilities” and giving United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres “exclusive” oversight of aid bound for Gaza. American objections to these terms reportedly held up the vote for several days. The revised resolution calls for “urgent steps to immediately allow safe and unhindered humanitarian access” to Gaza, and for “creating the conditions for a sustainable cessation of hostilities.” It also asks Guterres to appoint an official responsible for “facilitating, coordinating, monitoring and verifying” that aid deliveries are “humanitarian in nature.”

Expert Analysis

“This remains an inherently biased resolution that does not recognize Hamas as the terrorist organization that it is. The UN does not need another ‘coordinator’ to berate Israel and give cover for Hamas in Gaza — it has plenty of them already. The U.S. was right to fight any attempt to call for a ceasefire but should have set a red line at failure to impose sanctions on Hamas.” — Richard Goldberg, FDD Senior Advisor

“The UN has contributed to the conflict by nurturing Palestinian grievances against Israel rather than promoting realistic solutions. The best thing the international body can do is stay out of the way and allow Israel the time and space to take care of Hamas.” — David May, FDD Research Manager and Senior Research Analyst

Previous U.S. Vetoes

The United States vetoed a UN Security Council resolution on October 18 calling for humanitarian pauses in the Gaza Strip. America’s ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, said the U.S. rejected the resolution because it “did not mention Israel’s right of self-defense.” The U.S. vetoed another UN Security Council resolution on December 8 that demanded an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza. The Council voted 13-1 in favor of the resolution, with the United Kingdom abstaining.

UN Fails to Condemn Hamas

The UN General Assembly failed to pass a resolution on October 27 unequivocally condemning Hamas. Instead, the international body approved a resolution expressing concern about the “escalation of violence” without mentioning Hamas, the Iran-backed terrorist group responsible for the bloodshed. “It is outrageous that this resolution fails to name the perpetrators of the 7 October terrorist attack,” Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield said.

In a swipe at Israel, Guterres claimed in October that Hamas’s attack “did not happen in a vacuum” and, on December 6, he invoked Article 99 of the UN Charter, which allows the secretary-general to raise concerns about threats to international peace and security directly with the UN Security Council. No secretary-general has invoked the article since Bangladesh separated from Pakistan in 1971. Guterres himself failed to invoke Article 99 in the wake of multiple massacres in Sudan or for Russia’s war crimes in Ukraine.

United Nations’ Bigotry Towards Israel: UNRWA Anti-Semitism Poisons Palestinian Youth,” by Jonathan Schanzer

The Unmaking of the United Nations,” by Clifford D. May

10 Things to Know About the UN and Hamas,” FDD Insight

U.S. Blocks UN Ceasefire Resolution,” FDD Flash Brief

Slow International Response to Hamas’s Sexual Violence Chastised by Blinken,” FDD Flash Brief


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