Tuesday, October 17, 2023
0003 GMT — The UN Security Council rejected a Russian resolution that condemned violence and terrorism against civilians but made no mention of Hamas, whose surprise attack on October 7 killed hundreds of Israelis.
Only four countries joined Russia in voting for the resolution. Four countries voted against it, including the United States. Six countries abstained.
Russia’s UN ambassador, Vassily Nebenzia, had urged support for the resolution to respond to the “unprecedented exacerbation” of the situation.
The Russian draft resolution would have called for “an immediate, durable and fully respected humanitarian ceasefire” and “strongly condemns all violence and hostilities directed against civilians and all acts of terrorism.” It never mentions Hamas.
The Brazilian draft resolution calls for “humanitarian pauses” and also “firmly condemns all violence and hostilities against civilians and all acts of terrorism.” But it also “unequivocally rejects and condemns the heinous terrorist attacks by Hamas.”
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0057 GMT — Biden to visit Israel on Wednesday: Blinken
US President Joe Biden will pay a solidarity visit to Israel on Wednesday following the Hamas attacks, said Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who also announced that Israel had agreed to work on civilian aid for Gaza.
Blinken spoke after meeting for nearly eight hours at the defence ministry with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the top US diplomat’s second visit since the October 7 attacks by Hamas.
“The president will reaffirm United States solidarity with Israel and our ironclad commitment to its security,” Blinken said early Tuesday in Tel Aviv.
“Israel has the right and indeed the duty to defend its people from Hamas and other terrorists and to prevent future attacks,” Blinken said.
0050 GMT — Britain’s prime minister calls on Israel, Egypt to open border crossing to allow in aid
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak urged both Israel and Egypt to open up the Rafah crossing to allow in aid.
“We must ensure that humanitarian aid reaches civilians in Gaza. This requires Egypt and Israel to let in the aid that is so badly needed,” he said in a statement in the House of Commons.
Sunak began his speech by extending his support to the families of some of those who went missing after the Palestinian group Hamas’s infiltration into southern Israel.
0038 GMT — Children, families in Gaza have practically run out of water: UNICEF
Palestinian children and families in the Gaza Strip have practically run out of water, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said late Monday.
“They are now forced to use dirty water from wells, increasing risks of waterborne diseases,” UNICEF said in a statement.
“We need an immediate humanitarian pause to ensure unhindered and safe access to children and families in Gaza.”