Israel-Gaza war: US has Urged a Temporary Truce in a UN text

A draft resolution has been proposed by the US at the UN Security Council, urging for a temporary ceasefire in Gaza.

Israel has been cautioned against entering the densely populated city of Rafah.

In the past, the US refrained from using the term “ceasefire” in UN votes regarding the conflict, but President Joe Biden has now expressed similar sentiments.

Nevertheless, the US intends to veto another draft resolution proposed by Algeria, which requests an immediate humanitarian ceasefire.

Over a million displaced Palestinians, roughly half of Gaza’s population, are currently residing in Rafah after being compelled to find refuge there.

Before the conflict, the city near the Egyptian border had a population of just 250,000 residents.

Many people who have been forced to leave their homes are currently residing in temporary shelters or tents in very poor conditions, struggling to find clean water and food.

A warning has been issued by the UN that a planned Israeli offensive in the city could result in a “slaughter”.

Israel initiated its actions in Gaza in response to an assault by Hamas militants on southern Israel on 7 October, resulting in approximately 1,200 casualties and over 240 individuals being captured.

An estimated 29,000 individuals have lost their lives in the Palestinian territory due to the Israeli military campaign, as reported by the health ministry run by Hamas.

Washington is facing significant international pressure to utilise its influence to control Israel’s impactful operations, as it has been focusing on supporting its ally’s self-defense during the conflict.

It has promised to oppose the Algerian draft, while its competing document expresses disagreement with Israel’s intentions.

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Discussions are set to commence on the US draft this week, but the timing and potential voting of the proposal remain uncertain. Resolutions passed at the UN are not legally binding.

This marks the initial instance the US has requested a temporary ceasefire in Gaza at the UN, after vetoing earlier resolutions containing the term.

The US draft highlights the potential consequences of a major ground offensive in Rafah, emphasising the harm to civilians and the risk of further displacement, possibly into neighbouring countries like Egypt.

It also mentions that such a decision could have significant effects on regional peace and security.

The draft resolution is urging for a temporary ceasefire in Gaza to be implemented promptly, in line with President Joe Biden’s recent discussions with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Mr Netanyahu has been steadfast in his decision to not reconsider the plan, promising to save the remaining hostages and eliminate Hamas in Gaza.

Benny Gantz, a member of the Israeli war cabinet, has issued a warning that a military operation will be initiated if Hamas does not release all hostages by 10 March. Today signifies the beginning of Ramadan, the sacred month of fasting in the Islamic faith.

The Arab group of nations emphasises the importance of the Security Council addressing the international community’s calls for a ceasefire.

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