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Draft UN resolution calls for “immediate ceasefire” | Middle East, the eternal conflict

Natasha Kumar By Natasha Kumar Mar21,2024

A draft resolution at the UN calling for a “cease it” -immediate fire

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The Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman in Jeddah (File photo)

Agence France-Presse

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the United States presented a draft resolution to the UN Security Council calling for an “immediate ceasefire linked to the release of the hostages » in the Gaza Strip, in an interview with Saudi media.

We have actually submitted a resolution that is now before the Security Council that calls for an immediate ceasefire linked to the release of the hostages and we very much hope that countries will support it, he said Wednesday evening to the Saudi media Al Hadath, on the sidelines of a visit to the kingdom devoted to the conflict in Gaza.

Since the start of the war, the The United States has vetoed several UN Security Council resolutions calling for immediate and lasting ceasefires.

Such a resolution would send a strong signal, added Mr. Blinken, who underlined, during an interview with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the American commitment to a lasting solution to the crisis and to the creation of a future Palestinian state offering security guarantees to Israel, according to the State Department.

In the sixth month of the war started on October 7 by a bloody attack by the Islamist movement Hamas on Israeli soil, international concerns are growing in the face of the threat of famine and the human toll which continues to rise. in Gaza with more than 31,923 deaths, according to the Hamas Health Ministry's toll on Wednesday.

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Early Thursday, the ministry announced the deaths of 70 more people in Israeli fire and clashes in the Gaza Strip where witnesses reported overnight airstrikes in the center of the territory and heavy fighting around the x27;al-Chifa hospital in Gaza City (north).

The objective is not to allow such a place to be controlled by Hamas, declared the Chief of Staff of the Israeli army, Herzi Halevi on the spot. In total, 300 suspects were arrested there, including dozens of those responsible, according to the army.

Faced with this devastating war, the mediators — United States, Qatar, Egypt — are trying to achieve a humanitarian truce. In its new truce proposal sent to mediators last week, Hamas said it was ready for a six-week truce associated in particular with the release of hostages kidnapped during the October 7 attack in exchange of Palestinians incarcerated by Israel.

But on Wednesday, a Hamas official in Beirut, Osama Hamdane, declared, without detailing, that the response of Israel's response to this truce proposal was generally negative and could lead the negotiations to an impasse. The day before, the leader of the Islamist movement Ismaïl Haniyeh had accused Israel of sabotaging the talks by its military redeployment in al-Chifa.

For his sixth tour of the Middle East since the start of the war, Mr. Blinken is expected in Egypt on Thursday and in Israel on Friday and is expected to discuss the efforts with his interlocutors deployed to reach an immediate ceasefire agreement guaranteeing the release of all hostages, as well as intensifying international efforts to increase humanitarian aid to Gaza and coordination of aid ;post-conflict.

Historic allies of Israel, the United States are trying to avoid a major land offensive on Rafah, a city backed by the closed border of Egypt, the last great bastion of Hamas, where there are however 1.5 million Palestinians, the vast majority displaced by the violence in the rest of the territory.

But Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu considers an operation in Rafah necessary to achieve his goal of defeating Hamas and preventing it from attacking Israel again from the Gaza Strip.

Hamas commandos infiltrated from Gaza carried out an unprecedented attack in southern Israel on October 7, which resulted in the deaths of at least 1,160 people, most of them civilians, according to an Israeli count. x27;AFP from official Israeli sources. According to these sources, around 250 people were kidnapped and 130 of them are still hostages in Gaza, of whom 33 are believed to have died.

Israel has vowed to destroy Hamas, a movement it considers a terrorist organization along with the United States and the European Union, and launched a campaign of intense aerial bombardment followed by a ground offensive who started in the north to progress to reach the southern tip of the territory: Rafah.

Mr. Netanyahu announced the sending to Washington of an Israeli delegation at the request of President Joe Biden, to discuss this operation in this sector. For the United States, an offensive on Rafah would lead to more innocent victims, worsen the already serious humanitarian situation […] and further isolate Israel.

In a letter to President Biden, around sixty former American diplomacy executives believe that the tactics of the Israeli army have so far caused a humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza.

The international community is concerned about the risks of imminent famine in the territory. According to UN agencies, more than 1.1 million people in Gaza, around half the population, live in a catastrophic food situation, particularly in the north where famine could be more severe. here May.

The UN points out, among other things, the severe security restrictions imposed by Israel on the entry of all humanitarian aid into Gaza, which translates into a reduction in the volume of aid accessing the territory by road through the only two terminals, Rafah and Kerem Shalom.

In Gaza City, in the north, a crowd of Palestinians jostled on Wednesday to try to receive a bag of flour at an aid distribution point, noted an AFP collaborator.

The siege, hunger and diseases will soon become the main causes of deaths in Gaza, the head of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA), Philippe Lazzarini.

Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my natasha@thetimeshub.in 1-800-268-7116

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