Israel-Palestine conflict: UN-backed report warns of mass starvation
A new report says Gaza's 2.3 million residents are facing high levels of acute food insecurity. Meanwhile, the UN Security Council is scheduled to vote on a delayed resolution to halt the fighting
UN Security Council Gaza vote delayed again — sources
The United Nations Security Council has once again postponed a vote on a repeatedly-delayed resolution on the conflict between Hamas and Israel, diplomatic sources said.
The postponement to Friday, 22 December came even as the United States, which has opposed a string of proposals during the drafting of the resolution, said it was ready to support the text in its current form.
Several countries had to consult with their governments, it was said.
After days of delays, the latest draft is understood to include calls for "urgent steps to immediately allow safe and unhindered humanitarian access, and also for creating the conditions for a sustainable cessation of hostilities."
The text is the result of intensive negotiations involving the US, the United Arab Emirates, and Egypt. It does not call for an immediate cessation of hostilities.
Over 20 countries part of Red Sea coalition, Pentagon says
More than 20 countries have agreed to join a new coalition to protect Red Sea shipping from attacks by Yemen's Houthi militants, according to the Pentagon.
"We've had over 20 nations now sign on to participate," Major General Patrick Ryder said.
He pointed to public declarations by Greece and Australia on their involvement.
"We'll allow other countries, defer to them to talk about their participation," he said, suggesting that at least eight countries did not want to be publicly named.
Ryder said that each country will contribute what it can. "In some cases that will include vessels. In other cases, it could include staff or other types of support," he said.
Houthi rebels have been firing at vessels in the Red Sea, citing Israel's offensive in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip as the reason for the attacks. This has prompted companies to take a much longer route around Africa for the shipping of goods.
US 'actively working' on Gaza resolution with UN partners — White House
The United States is still working with partners to reach a UN Security Council resolution, according to the White House.
"We're still actively working with our UN partners about the resolution and on the language itself," National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said.
On Wednesday, 20 December the US requested a postponement of the Gaza session to continue talks with Egypt.
Contention surrounds calls for the UN monitoring of aid entering the Gaza Strip, which is undergoing a major humanitarian crisis and 85% of the population has been displaced.
"Israel has had, understandably so, a role in the inspection regime — a key role, a pivotal role — and we understand and respect that," Kirby said.
UN-backed report warns of mass starvation in Gaza
A report released Thursday, 21 December by the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) claimed the Gaza Strip's 2.3 million residents were currently facing high levels of acute food insecurity, and that the situation could deteriorate drastically if the status quo persisted.
The IPC forecast that by 7 February, at current rates, "the entire population in the Gaza Strip" would be at "crisis or worse" levels of hunger on its five-level scale.
"This is the highest share of people facing high levels of acute food insecurity that the IPC initiative has ever classified for any given area or country," it said.
The organization said famine conditions were yet to take hold, given the comparatively short period where people have faced malnutrition, but warned this transition was highly likely unless the situation improved.
The German Foreign Ministry called the IPC's projections "appalling."
"It is urgent that Israel grants better access for assistance, adapts its military strategy & allows for humanitarian pauses. Hunger feeds terror," the ministry wrote on X, formerly Twitter.
Food and water have become increasingly scarce in Gaza since Israel began retaliatory military strikes and a ground invasion in the enclave, in response to October 7 attacks launched from Gaza by Hamas.
Israel immediately blockaded the region after the attack — which killed nearly 1,300 Israelis — cutting off deliveries of fuel, medicine, food and water.
UK's Cameron, in Egypt, calls for 'sustainable cease-fire'
Speaking in Egypt on Thursday, 21 December, UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron called for a "sustainable cease-fire" in Gaza.
"I want this conflict to end as soon as possible," he said at a news conference alongside Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry.
"What we need is a sustainable cease-fire where Hamas is no longer able to threaten Israel with rockets and with terrorism," he said, referring to the Islamist Palestinian group Hamas, which Israel, Germany, the US, the EU and others have classified as a terror organization.
"Everything that can be done must be done to get more aid into Gaza, to help the people in the desperate situation that they're in," said Cameron.