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US Draft Resolution Calls for Temporary Ceasefire in Gaza, Opposes Rafah Invasion

gaza

In a significant diplomatic move, the United States has put forward a draft resolution at the United Nations Security Council, calling for a temporary ceasefire in the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas. The proposal also opposes Israel’s planned offensive on the southern Gaza city of Rafah.

Key Points:

Ceasefire Support: The draft text represents the first time the US has explicitly backed a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas conflict. It emphasizes that the temporary truce should be initiated “as soon as practicable,” allowing some flexibility for the Israeli military.

  • Alternative to Algerian Draft: The US resolution serves as an alternative to an Algerian draft resolution that calls for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire. The latter is scheduled for debate on Tuesday. By proposing its own resolution, the Biden administration signals its willingness to use the UN platform to exert pressure on Israel, rather than relying solely on bilateral communication.
  • Concerns Over Rafah: The draft resolution specifically addresses the situation in Rafah, where approximately half of Gaza’s 2.3 million population has sought refuge. It warns that a major ground offensive into Rafah under current circumstances would result in further harm to civilians and their displacement, potentially affecting regional peace and security.
  • Hamas Accountability: While condemning Hamas for its October 7 attack, the US draft resolution explicitly blames the group for actions such as “taking and killing of hostages, murder, and sexual violence, including rape.” This stance contrasts with earlier resolutions that omitted explicit blame of Hamas.
  • Path Forward: The resolution’s passage is uncertain, as it requires at least nine votes in favor and no vetoes from the five permanent members of the Security Council (United States, France, Britain, Russia, and China). However, it could serve as a basis for negotiations with other council members in the coming days.

International Response:

Richard Gowan, the UN director for the International Crisis Group, noted that Israel may take the US draft resolution more seriously than other demands from UN members. While its adoption remains uncertain, the proposal underscores the urgency of finding a peaceful resolution to the conflict and protecting civilian lives.

As the situation in Gaza continues to escalate, the world watches closely to see how the Security Council responds to this critical proposal. The stakes are high, and the hope is that diplomacy prevails over violence in the pursuit of lasting peace in the region.

Will the Resolution Pass?

The proposed resolution faces an uncertain path. The US has veto power at the Security Council, and it remains unclear whether other members, particularly regional actors, will accept the text’s language. While China and Russia have previously criticized Israeli actions in Gaza, their positions on this specific resolution are unknown.

Meanwhile, the Situation in Gaza Remains Grim

The humanitarian situation in Gaza is dire, with limited access to essential supplies and services. The violence has displaced thousands of Palestinians from their homes. International aid organizations are calling for an immediate ceasefire and unhindered access to deliver humanitarian assistance.

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