US issues new, vague UN resolution with Gaza ceasefire veto | Israel's War on Gaza News

Overseeing a prospective Israel-Hamas ceasefire agreement in Qatar, the US draft resolution does not explicitly call for a cease-fire.

According to US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, who is on a tour of the Middle East, the United States has circulated a draft United Nations Security Council resolution calling for an “immediate ceasefire and the release of hostages” in Gaza.

Israel's main political and military backer, which has repeatedly vetoed previous UNSC votes to end the nearly six-month-old war, recently objected to the use of the word “immediately” in a draft submitted by Algeria.

In recent weeks, however, it has stepped up pressure on Israel, while insisting that Hamas militants immediately release prisoners captured during its October 7 attacks on Israel.

“Well, actually, we have a resolution that we've put forward now that's before the United Nations Security Council calling for an immediate cease-fire tied to the release of the hostages, and we hope that countries will support that.” Blinken said in Saudi Arabia.

“I think it sends a strong message, a strong signal,” he told Saudi media outlet Al Hadad on Wednesday.

“Of course, we stand with Israel and with its right to defend itself … but at the same time, it's imperative to focus on the civilians who are in harm's way and the most vulnerable – to prioritize them, to protect civilians, to get them humanitarian aid,” Blinken said. .

A copy of the new draft resolution obtained by Al Jazeera reads: “The Security Council determines the imperative of an immediate and lasting ceasefire to protect civilians on all sides, provide essential humanitarian assistance and alleviate humanitarian suffering.” The decision undoubtedly supports international diplomatic efforts to secure such a ceasefire with the release of all remaining hostages.

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Al Jazeera's diplomatic editor James Pace said the development “seems very important” and that the resolution's “exact language” is important, adding that it is unclear what the US is actually asking for.

“It's certainly still strong language, but does the rest of the Security Council want it based on a request for an immediate cease-fire? Or is it a resolution where the Security Council says an immediate cease-fire is very important?” he said.

A vote on this text has not yet been scheduled.

In February, the United States was the only country to vote against the draft – its third veto – with the United Kingdom abstaining.

For a UNSC resolution to be adopted, it needs at least nine votes in favor and no veto by any of the five permanent members: the US, the UK, France, Russia or China.

US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield said her country would veto the resolution, disrupting talks between the US, Egypt, Israel and Qatar to try to end the war and free the LTTE. Captives in Gaza.

Negotiations for a ceasefire agreement continued in Qatar this week after efforts to secure a deal before the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan failed.

Qatari officials said they were “cautiously optimistic” after talks with Israel's intelligence chief in Doha, although Qatari Foreign Ministry spokesman Majid al-Ansari said on Tuesday that an Israeli ground operation in Rafah in southern Gaza would set back any talks.

Pace added that this is “not the only draft resolution floating around.”

“The language of other resolutions that the US vetoed called for a ceasefire. It uses one word, 'determines essential', so it says that it is important to have a ceasefire. It doesn't really demand one right now,” he added.

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“My suspicion is what the United States is trying to do as the negotiations continue in Doha — you get some kind of agreement in Doha for a ceasefire and a prisoner release, and then you pass this resolution in the Security Council. I think that's the time, but we need more clarity.

Blinken is making his sixth trip to the Middle East since Israel's war on Gaza began. He has already met Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Saudi Arabia.

On Thursday, he is scheduled to meet the foreign ministers of Egypt, Qatar and Jordan in Cairo, as well as the Emirati minister of international cooperation and the secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) executive committee, the Egyptian foreign ministry said.

Blinken is expected in Israel on Friday.

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