US calls for vote Friday on UN resolution declaring that immediate Gaza cease-fire is `imperative’

Israeli soldiers move on the top of a tank near the Israeli-Gaza border Thursday, pictured from southern Israel. (AP Photo/Ohad Zwigenberg)

UNITED NATIONS — The United States called for a vote Friday on a newly revised and tougher U.N. resolution declaring that “an immediate and sustained cease-fire” in the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza is “imperative” to protect civilians and enable humanitarian aid to be delivered to more than 2 million hungry Palestinians.

In the previous draft, the Security Council did not make such a declaration. Instead, it would have supported international efforts for a cease-fire as part of a hostage deal.


The new draft obtained Thursday by The Associated Press “determines” — which is a council order — “the imperative of an immediate and sustained cease-fire,” with no direct link to the release of hostages taken during Hamas’ surprise attack in Israel on Oct. 7. But “toward that end” it would unequivocally support diplomatic efforts “to secure such a cease-fire in connection with the release of all remaining hostages.”

After the 15 Security Council members met behind closed doors Thursday afternoon to discuss Gaza, U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield said when asked if the U.S. draft would be adopted: “I am optimistic. That’s why it took us so long, because we worked so hard.”

Russia’s deputy U.N. ambassador, Dmitry Polyansky, told reporters that U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is pressing for an immediate cease-fire and if the resolution calls for an immediate cease-fire “we will, of course, support it.”

Nate Evans, the spokesman for the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, issued a statement while the Security Council was holding closed Gaza consultations announcing that the U.S. would bring the resolution to a vote Friday morning.

“This resolution is an opportunity for the Council to speak with one voice to support the diplomacy happening on the ground and pressure Hamas to accept the deal on the table,” Evans said.

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