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Algeria proposes UNSC resolution calling for Israel to end Rafah op and for Hamas to release hostages

Algeria’s Representative to the United Nations Amar Bendjama addresses the Security Council on the day of a vote on a Gaza resolution that demands an immediate ceasefire, at UN headquarters in New York City, March 25, 2024. (Photo: REUTERS/Andrew Kelly)

The government of Algeria submitted a draft resolution proposal to the United Nations Security Council on Tuesday, calling on Israel to end its military operations in Rafah and demanding that Hamas release the remaining 125 hostages it is holding captive in Gaza.

“It will be a short text, a decisive text, to stop the killing in Rafah,” Algeria’s UN Ambassador Amar Bendjama said regarding the purpose of drafting and proposing the resolution, according to a report from Reuters.

“Diplomats said the council could vote within days,” Bendjama continued.

In addition to calling for the release of all hostages currently being held by Hamas in Gaza, the resolution “decides that Israel, the occupying Power, shall immediately halt its military offensive, and any other action in Rafah.”

The resolution reportedly cites the recent ruling by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) regarding the IDF's incursion into the southern town of Rafah, located near the Egyptian border. Though the ICJ has no means to enforce its rulings, its decisions do reflect the consensus of a large proportion of nations.

“The Court considers that, in conformity with its obligations under the Genocide Convention, Israel must immediately halt its military offensive, and any other action in the Rafah Governorate, which may inflict on the Palestinian group in Gaza conditions of life that could bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part,” last week’s ruling states.

Four of the court’s 15 judges stated the ruling does not unilaterally order Israel to stop its operation in Rafah.

South African judge, Dire Tladi, whose nation leveled the case accusing Israel of genocide before the ICJ, stated that, on the contrary, the ruling in “explicit terms, ordered the State of Israel to halt its offensive in Rafah.”

The ICJ's other judges did not provide additional comments on their ruling, and Israeli officials maintain that Israel’s actions in Gaza are in accord with both international law in general and this ICJ ruling in particular.

However, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly stated his intention to destroy the Hamas terror group, and it appears doubtful that the passing of Algeria’s proposed UN resolution would deter the Israeli government from pursuing its military goals in Rafah.

Algeria, which has a 99% Muslim population and no official diplomatic relations with Israel, was the first nation to recognize a Palestinian state in 1988.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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