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US Opposes Israel Offensive In Rafah & Supports Temporary Ceasefire In Draft UN Resolution

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The United States has put forth a competing draft resolution for the UN Security Council that would oppose a major ground offensive by its ally Israel in Rafah while also advocating for a temporary ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas conflict.

The action follows the US signaling on Tuesday that it would veto a resolution drafted by Algeria that called for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire. The reasoning behind the veto was that the resolution might threaten negotiations between the US, Egypt, Israel, and Qatar to mediate a ceasefire and the release of hostages held by Hamas.

Up until now, Washington has opposed using the term “ceasefire” in any UN resolution on the conflict between Israel and Hamas; however, the US text adopts wording that President Joe Biden claimed he utilised last week in discussions with Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister of Israel.

It would require the Security Council to “underscore its support 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.”

Speaking on condition of anonymity, a senior administration official stated on Monday that the United States does “not plan to rush” to a vote and intends to allow time for negotiations. The US draft text “determines that under current circumstances a major ground offensive into Rafah would result in further harm to civilians and their further displacement including potentially into neighbouring countries.”

A resolution needs to receive nine votes or more to pass and cannot be vetoed by the United States, France, Britain, Russia, or China.

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