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UN Chief Issues Global Security Warning Amid Gaza War Tensions

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres took an unusual step on Wednesday, formally alerting the Security Council to a global security threat arising from the Gaza war. Arab states are leveraging this warning to push for a council resolution demanding an “immediate humanitarian ceasefire” between Israel and Palestinian militants Hamas.

The United Arab Emirates presented a draft resolution, aiming for a vote on Friday during Guterres’ briefing on Gaza. To pass, the resolution needs at least nine votes in favor, without any veto from the permanent members—the United States, Russia, China, France, or Britain.

Deputy U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Robert Wood, stated that the U.S. does not support further Security Council action at this time. Instead, the U.S. focuses on diplomatic efforts to release hostages, increase aid to Gaza, and enhance civilian protection.

Both the U.S. and Israel oppose a ceasefire, arguing that it would benefit Hamas. Washington supports temporary pauses to protect civilians and facilitate the release of hostages taken in an October 7 attack by Hamas.

The UAE’s draft resolution has the backing of the Arab and Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) group. The UAE mission to the U.N. urged global support for the Secretary-General’s call, emphasizing the moral and humanitarian imperative.

Palestinian U.N. envoy Riyad Mansour revealed plans for Arab ministers to discuss the resolution with U.S. officials during a Washington visit, highlighting the urgency of ending the conflict.

In response to Guterres’ letter, Israel’s U.N. Ambassador Gilad Erdan accused him of reaching a “new moral low,” arguing that the call for a ceasefire would perpetuate “Hamas’ reign of terror in Gaza.”

Guterres invoked Article 99 of the U.N. Charter, expressing concern that the war could escalate existing threats to international peace and security. He warned of a severe risk of the humanitarian system’s collapse and irreversible implications for Palestinians, reiterating the need for a humanitarian ceasefire.

Israel claims 1,200 casualties and 240 hostages from the October 7 Hamas attack, responding with air bombardments, a siege, and a ground assault. Gaza’s Health Ministry reports 16,015 casualties in the enclave of 2.3 million, with Guterres highlighting the lack of effective civilian protection and the absence of safe zones in Gaza.

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