File Photo: The Permanent Representative of Egypt to the United Nations Osama Abdel-Khalek. Photo courtesy of the UN.
"The Arab group is once again knocking on the doors of the Security Council, developing a resolution to cease fire immediately,” the Permanent Representative of Egypt to the United Nations, Osama Abdel-Khalek, said.
Abdel-Khalek called on the UNSC to assume its responsibilities.
The Arab group held conversations over the past few days with members of the Security Council, where they demanded a mechanism for enhanced humanitarian aid to Gaza, and the full opening of crossings, Abdel-Khalek noted.
The group also called for an increase in the rate of humanitarian aid flow to Gaza from the UN, he added.
The Arab representatives will meet with the chairman of the UNSC to advocate for the ceasefire and the continuous flow of life-saving humanitarian aid to the strip, he pointed out.
Meanwhile, Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian UN ambassador, said Wednesday that it’s essential that the UN’s most powerful body demand a halt to the conflict following the resumption of bloodshed in Gaza after the end of a weeklong humanitarian truce on 1 December.
Surrounded by members of the 22-nation Arab Group, Mansour also told reporters that a ministerial delegation from Arab nations and the 57-member Organization of Islamic Cooperation headed by Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister will be in Washington on Thursday to meet with US officials.
“On top of the agenda is this war has to stop,” he said. “A cease-fire has to take place and it has to take place immediately.”
Mansour said the national security adviser to US Vice President Kamala Harris contacted Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas Wednesday morning and that Abbas pressed for an immediate cease-fire and more humanitarian aid.
The United States, Israel’s closest ally, has veto power in the Security Council and has not supported a ceasefire.
Also Wednesday, the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres wrote a letter to the UNSC invoking Article 99 of the UN's charter, which states that "the Secretary-General may bring to the attention of the Security Council any matter which in his opinion may threaten the maintenance of international peace and security."
Meanwhile, more than 1.8 million Palestinians - out of a population of 2.4 million - have been rendered homeless as Israeli bombardment destroyed more than 50 percent of homes in the strip.
A near-total Israeli blockade on food, water, and fuel has the entire civilian population on the verge of hunger amid a growing catastrophic situation not seen anywhere in the world in decades.
Since 7 October, the Israeli offensive on the Palestinian territory has killed 16,248 Palestinians -- including 7,000 children and more than 4,000 women -- and wounded 42,000 others, according to the health ministry in Gaza.
A week-long truce deal between Israel and Hamas, mediated by Egypt, Qatar, and the US, which allowed for the entry of some humanitarian aid through the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and Gaza, collapsed on Friday after the Israeli side resumed its bombardments on the Gaza Strip.