The UN Security Council vote on Russia-proposed draft resolution concerning the Israeli-Gaza conflict settlement has been postponed indefinitely amid ceasefire expectations, Russia’s envoy to the UN Vitaly Churkin said.
A regular round of Middle East consultations is due to begin within the next few hours.
The draft resolution “has been shelved for a certain period of time, but I would like to stress that it [Russia’s proposal] remains in force,” he said.
Churkin said on Monday the draft resolution focuses on three key components: an end to violence to negotiate a ceasefire, support for international and regional efforts to settle the crisis peacefully and a call for resumption of talks between Palestinians and Israelis on a wider range of problems.
A ceasefire agreement was expected to come into force at 2:00 Moscow time on Wednesday [22:00 Tuesday GMT], but no announcement has been made so far. Hamas officials, however, expect the agreement to be reached later in the day.
Israeli officials also said extra time was needed for diplomatic efforts.
Gaza Strip, a coastal enclave with a population of 1.7 million has been under Israeli blockade since 2006. On November 14, Israel launched the Pillar of Defense operation targeting militants and their infrastructure. The operation came as a response to a reported surge in rocket attacks on Israeli border towns from Gaza.
Media reports say more than 120 Palestinians were killed by Israeli airstrikes since the beginning of the operation. Israel says three Israeli civilians and a serviceman have been killed by Palestinian rockets.
As airstrikes continue, Israeli authorities do not rule out a ground operation in the enclave and has put 75,000 reservists on standby.