Russia asks UN Security Council to vote Monday on Israel, Gaza


Russia has asked the United Nations Security Council to vote Monday on a draft resolution on the Israel-Hamas conflict that calls for a humanitarian ceasefire and condemns violence against civilians and all acts of terrorism.

Russia's Deputy UN Ambassador Dmitry Polyanskiy said he expected the vote to be scheduled for 3:00 pm EDT (1900 GMT) on Monday.

The one-page draft resolution also calls for the release of hostages, humanitarian aid access and the safe evacuation of civilians in need. 

A UN Security Council resolution needs at least nine votes in favour and no vetoes by the US, Britain, France, China or Russia.

Israel was preparing to launch a ground assault against Hamas in the Gaza Strip, after telling 1.1 million civilians on the northern half to move south towards a closed border with Egypt.

The UN says so many people cannot be safely moved within Gaza without causing a humanitarian disaster.

Some 1,300 people were killed in an onslaught that shocked Israel, while Gaza authorities say more than 2,200 people have been killed, a quarter of them children, and nearly 10,000 wounded.

US President Joe Biden and other world leaders warned against any country broadening the conflict. International organisations and aid groups urged calm and pressed Israel to allow humanitarian assistance to get through.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government also told the militant group Hezbollah, which neighbours Israel to the north, not to start a war on a second front, threatening the "destruction of Lebanon" if it did.

Meanwhile, the Israeli military said in an air strike in Khan Younis it killed a commander of Hamas' elite Nukhba Force who led the October 7 attack.

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