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US proposal at UNSC calls for ceasefire, halting of IDF's Rafah operation

Draft of resolution comes as alternative to Arab initiative for stopping war

Israeli soldiers operating in Gaza (Photo: IDF)

The United States is floating a resolution proposal that would, for the first time, call Israel to a ceasefire in its war against Hamas in Gaza and explicitly advocate for a halt of Israel's planned advance on the terror group’s last major stronghold in Rafah, according to media reports on Monday.

The drafted resolution will call for “a temporary ceasefire in Gaza as soon as practicable, based on the formula of all hostages being released, and calls for lifting all barriers to the provision of humanitarian assistance at scale,” Reuters reported.

It also includes a statement that “under current circumstances, a major ground offensive into Rafah would result in further harm to civilians and their further displacement including potentially into neighboring countries.”

Such a move, according to the draft presented to the UNSC, “would have serious implications for regional peace and security, and therefore … such a major ground offensive should not proceed under current circumstances.”

While the U.S. has so far avoided calling Israel to completely end its war against Hamas terrorists, the proposal's language follows similar statements made by President Joe Biden in his latest phone call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The U.S. proposal is an alternative to a resolution drafted by Algeria and backed by 22 Arab nations, which will be brought to a vote on Tuesday and is expected to be vetoed by Washington.

The Algerian version demands an end to the war, and that Israel and Hamas “scrupulously comply” with international law – especially the protection of civilians – and reject the forced displacement of Palestinian civilians, according to the Associated Press.

U.S. representatives have no “plan to rush” a vote on the draft to allow for deliberations and negotiations over the paper, the report added.

Regarding the proposal, U.S. Deputy UN Ambassador Robert Wood said, “What we’re looking at is another possible option, and we’ll be discussing this with friends going forward. I don’t think you can expect anything to happen tomorrow.”

Nine out of 15 votes are required for a resolution to pass the UN Security Council, and it must not be vetoed by the U.S., France, Britain, Russia and China.

After initially showing vocal support for Israel's war against the Hamas terror organization, the U.S. Biden administration has gradually increased the pressure on Israel to shift the fighting to a less intensive phase to reduce civilian suffering and allow more humanitarian aid.

The U.S. has specifically rejected the Israeli military's plans to advance on the town of Rafah on the border with Egypt, where an estimated one million refugees have been seeking shelter.

Israel suspects that senior Hamas leadership is hiding in tunnels under the city, surrounded by many of the remaining 134 Israeli hostages.

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

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