The UN Security Council will vote today on a resolution demanding a cease-fire in Gaza

Photo by EPA

Arab and Islamic countries called today for a vote on the draft resolution of the United Nations Security Council demanding a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip in order to deliver humanitarian aid.

The proposed resolution is a response to a letter sent by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to the Security Council on Wednesday, warning of an impending "humanitarian catastrophe" in Gaza and urging the body's 15 members to vote for a ceasefire to deliver of humanitarian aid and release of hostages.

The draft resolution was submitted by the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which is the Arab representative in the UN Security Council.

Guterres is due to brief the Security Council today on the letter sent to the 15-member body under the rarely used Article 99 of the UN Charter, which no UN secretary-general has invoked since 1989.

The Palestinian ambassador to the UN, Riyad Mansour, told reporters yesterday that everyone hopes that the UN will adopt the resolution proposed by the UAE.

The US, Israel's closest ally, did not support the ceasefire and has veto power at the UN. Mansour said representatives from Arab and Islamic countries would meet with US officials today to seek US support for the resolution.

Guterres warned the UN Security Council that the war between Israel and Palestinian militants Hamas in the Gaza Strip "could exacerbate existing threats to international peace and security".

Guterres invoked the rarely used Article 99 of the founding UN Charter, which allows him to "bring the attention of the Security Council to any matter which in his opinion may threaten the maintenance of international peace and security."

"We are facing a serious risk of collapse of the humanitarian system. "The situation is rapidly deteriorating into a disaster with potentially irreversible implications for the Palestinians as a whole and for peace and security in the region," Guterres wrote.

He emphasized that such an outcome must be avoided at all costs.

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