WASHINGTON (Reuters) -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 U.N. Ambassador Dmitry Polyanskiy said on Saturday no changes had been made to the text since it was given to the 15-member body on Friday and that he expected the vote to be scheduled for 3 p.m. 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. It refers to Israel and the Palestinians but does not directly name Hamas.
A U.N. Security Council resolution needs at least nine votes in favor and no vetoes by the United States, Britain, France, China or Russia. The United States has traditionally shielded its ally Israel from any Security Council action.
Israel was preparing on Saturday to launch a ground assault against Iran-backed Hamas in the Gaza Strip, after telling Palestinians living in the densely populated territory to move south towards a closed border with Egypt.
Israel has vowed to annihilate Hamas in retaliation for an attack by the Palestinian Islamist group a week ago. Hamas stormed Israeli towns, killing 1,300 people and seizing scores of hostages - the worst attack on civilians in Israel's history.
Israeli jets and artillery have already subjected Gaza to the most intense bombardment it has ever seen, putting the enclave, home to 2.3 million Palestinians, under total siege. Gaza authorities say more than 2,200 people have been killed.
(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Doina Chiacu and Chizu Nomiyama)