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US proposes UN ceasefire resolution amid Gaza crisis

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The United States is advocating for a temporary ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas conflict through a draft resolution presented at the United Nations Security Council. The resolution also opposes a significant ground offensive by Israel in Rafah, Gaza Strip.

This initiative follows the U.S.’s decision to signal a potential veto of an Algerian-drafted resolution calling for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire, citing concerns about its impact on ongoing negotiations involving the U.S., Egypt, Israel, and Qatar aimed at securing a pause in hostilities and the release of hostages held by Hamas.

The U.S. draft resolution reflects President Joe Biden’s recent discussions with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, marking a departure from previous reluctance to endorse the term “ceasefire” in U.N. actions regarding the conflict. It emphasizes support for a temporary ceasefire in Gaza, contingent upon the release of all hostages, and urges unimpeded humanitarian assistance delivery.

The U.S. intends to allow time for negotiations and is not rushing to a vote. A resolution requires at least nine affirmative votes and no vetoes from permanent Security Council members (U.S., France, Britain, Russia, China) to pass. The draft resolution warns against a major ground offensive in Rafah, emphasizing the potential harm to civilians and regional stability.

Israel’s plans to enter Rafah have raised concerns about exacerbating the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, with the U.N. warning of dire consequences. The U.S. resolution underscores the adverse impact of such an offensive on regional peace and security and opposes any actions violating international law, including attempts to alter Gaza’s demographics or territory.

This marks the second time since October that the U.S. has proposed a Security Council resolution on Gaza, reflecting a shift in its stance. While the U.S. had prepared to veto the Algerian resolution, its own draft signals a stern message to Israel regarding diplomatic support.

Israel’s response to the U.S. draft resolution remains pending. The resolution condemns calls for Jewish settlers to relocate to Gaza and rejects efforts to change Gaza’s territory or reduce its size, including through buffer zones or infrastructure demolition.

The conflict, initiated by Hamas attacks on Israel in October, has resulted in significant casualties and destruction. In December, the U.N. General Assembly passed a resolution calling for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire, reflecting global concern over the conflict’s impact.

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