The US has circulated a competing UN resolution calling for a temporary Gaza ceasefire

The proposed resolution says Israel's planned major ground offensive in the southern Gaza city of Rafah, where some 1.5 million Palestinians have sought refuge, “should not continue under the current circumstances.” And further displacement of civilians “including the possibility of moving to neighboring countries,” the reference to Egypt warns, would have serious implications for regional peace and security.

The Security Council is expected to vote Tuesday morning on a pro-Arab draft resolution circulated by Algeria, which represents the 22 Arab states in the most powerful UN body.

In addition to the cease-fire, the final Algerian draft obtained by the AP calls for the immediate release of all hostages and reiterates the council's demands that Israel and Hamas “comply with respect” to international law, particularly the protection of civilians. Forced displacement of Palestinian citizens.

U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield said in a statement Sunday that the U.S. has been working for months on a hostage deal that would bring at least six weeks of peace “from which we can take time and steps to build. A more lasting peace.”

US President Joe Biden has made repeated calls in the past week with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the leaders of Egypt and Qatar to push the deal forward. Qatar said on Saturday that the talks were “not progressing as expected”.

“While there are gaps, key elements are on the table,” Thomas-Greenfield said, adding that it is the best opportunity to reunite hostages with their families and implement a long-term pause in the fighting that would allow Palestinian civilians to receive life-saving aid. much needed.

See also  Israel, Hamas and the US are close to a deal to free the embattled hostages, senior officials say.

By contrast, a pro-Arab resolution would not achieve those outcomes, “in fact, it might work against them,” he said. “For that reason, the United States does not support action on this draft resolution. If the draft comes to a vote, it will not be adopted.

US Deputy Ambassador Robert Wood told several reporters on Monday that the Algerian draft was “not a good mechanism for trying to do the three things that we want to see – which is the release of the hostages, more aid and a longer pause to this conflict”. .”

With the U.S. draft, “that's another possible option we're looking at and we'll discuss it with friends,” Wood said. “I don't think you can expect anything to happen tomorrow.”

Arab states, backed by many of the 193 UN member states, have been calling for a ceasefire for months as Israel's military offensive has intensified in retaliation for Hamas attacks, with the death toll of Palestinians now exceeding 29,000, according to Gaza Health. The ministry, which does not distinguish between civilians and combatants, says the majority are women and children.

Tunisia's UN ambassador Tarek Lateb, head of the Arab bloc this month, told UN reporters last Wednesday that the roughly 1.5 million Palestinians who have sought refuge in Gaza's southern city of Rafah face a “catastrophic situation” if Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu goes ahead with a possible evacuation. Civilian and military attack on Egyptian border.

Netanyahu ordered the military to come up with a plan to oust Rafa, but Israel has not announced a plan or timeline.

See also  NY Rep-elect George Santos faces federal filing questions

The Algeria-drafted resolution expresses “deep concern at the dire and rapidly deteriorating humanitarian situation” in Gaza and reiterates the council's call for unimpeded humanitarian access across the territory, where UN officials say a quarter of the 2.3 million population faces starvation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *