Israel-Hamas war: US calls for vote on UN resolution for cease-fire in Gaza

The United States called for a vote on Friday on a newly revised United Nations resolution that would declare "an immediate and sustained cease-fire" in the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza. 

The cease-fire is "imperative" to protect civilians and would allow much-needed humanitarian aid to be delivered. 

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, 2023. 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." 

France’s U.N. ambassador, Nicolas de Riviere, told reporters that "there is a desire to take action, no one wants to procrastinate, so we hope that a decision can be made by tomorrow evening." 

"We need a cease-fire right now," he said. "There are two options: Either the U.S. text is adopted, and then we’ll move to the next phase of this crisis management, or the text is not adopted and then the draft of the elected members will come to the table and put to the vote, and I hope it will be adopted." 


FILE - Smoke billows after an Israeli strike in the northern Gaza Strip on March 21, 2024, amid the ongoing violence between Israel and the Palestinian Hamas movement.

Blinken told Saudi media outlet Al Hadath on Wednesday evening that the new resolution would put an end to fierce fighting in the Palestinian territory and urged the international body to support it. 

"We’re pressing for an immediate ceasefire tied to the release of hostages.  That would bring immediate relief to so many people who are suffering in Gaza – the children, the women, the men.  It would allow a much greater expansion of humanitarian assistance getting to them, and it could create the conditions to have a lasting, enduring ceasefire, which is also what we want to see.  So that’s the urgency in this moment.  That’s what we’re pressing, with Qatar and Egypt working closely with us to try to get an agreement," Blinken told Al Hadath. 

Blinken visited Saudi Arabia on Wednesday, which was his sixth trip to the Middle East since the start of the Israel-Hamas war.

Meanwhile, the 10 elected members of the Security Council have been drafting their own resolution that would demand an immediate humanitarian cease-fire for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which began March 10, to be "respected by all parties leading to a permanent sustainable cease-fire." 

It also would demand "the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages" and emphasize the urgent need to protect civilians and deliver humanitarian aid throughout the Gaza Strip. 

That draft had not yet been put in "blue," which is the final form required for a vote. 

The Associated Press and FOX News contributed to this report. This story was reported from Los Angeles.