US pushes for Gaza cease-fire with Middle East talks, Security Council resolution

by Admin
US pushes for Gaza cease-fire with Middle East talks, Security Council resolution

The United States is calling for a vote on its draft U.N. Security Council resolution urging Hamas to accept a proposed cease-fire deal, while U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is due to meet Monday with leaders in Egypt and Israel in a push to achieve a halt in fighting.

Blinken is holding talks with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sissi in Cairo, and later going to Israel to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant. The top U.S. diplomat’s trip will also take him to Qatar and to Jordan, where he will attend a conference focused on humanitarian aid for Gaza.

U.S. officials have said Israel would accept the cease-fire proposal, which includes an initial halt in fighting, the release of some hostages from Gaza, the release of Palestinian prisoners held by Israel, a surge in humanitarian aid for Palestinians, Israeli troops withdrawing from populated areas of Gaza and the return of Palestinian civilians to their homes and neighborhoods.

Hamas has not accepted or rejected the plan, which U.S. President Joe Biden publicly detailed more than a week ago.

The draft U.N. Security Council resolution seeks to add pressure on Hamas, while also urging Hamas and Israel to fully implement the cease-fire deal “without delay and without condition,” according to the text seen by VOA.

“Israel has accepted this proposal and the Security Council has an opportunity to speak with one voice and call on Hamas to do the same,” the U.S. Mission to the United Nations said in a statement late Sunday. “Doing so would help save lives and the suffering of civilians in Gaza as well as the hostages and their families. Council Members should not let this opportunity to pass by and must speak with one voice in support of this deal.”

A vote on the resolution could come as early as Monday.

A second phase of the proposed cease-fire agreement envisions a permanent cessation of hostilities, the complete withdrawal of Israeli troops and the return of all remaining hostages. A final phase includes a multiyear reconstruction effort in the Gaza Strip, much of which has been devastated by eight months of Israeli bombardment.

An Israeli military armored vehicle rolls in an area bordering the Gaza Strip on June 9, 2024.

Air drops of aid resume

The U.S. military on Sunday resumed air drops of humanitarian aid to the northern Gaza Strip after pausing that method of delivery in late May due to what the military said were adverse weather conditions and Israeli military operations in the area.

The resumption of air drops followed the U.S. military’s announcement that it had completed repairs to a temporary pier on the Gaza coast that broke after two weeks of bringing in truckloads of aid by sea.

World Food Program chief Cindy McCain said Sunday the organization was pausing its work distributing aid brought in at the pier, telling the CBS “Face the Nation” show that she was “concerned about the safety of our people.” McCain said two of the agency’s warehouses had been hit by rockets.

“We’ve stepped back for the moment,” McCain said, and want “to make sure that we’re on safe terms and on safe ground before we’ll restart. But the rest of the country is operational. We’re doing … everything we can in the north and the south.”

The World Food Program last week reiterated its calls for better aid access, including Israel facilitating supply deliveries coming in through the Kerem Shalom crossing, and for humanitarian organizations to have “safe and unhindered access to reach all civilians in need across Gaza.”

The October 7 Hamas terror attack resulted in the deaths of about 1,200 people in Israel, mostly civilians, according to official Israeli figures. Hamas militants took about 250 hostages, 116 of whom remain in the Palestinian territory, including 41 the army says are dead.

Israel’s military response has killed at least 37,000 Palestinians, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry, which does not distinguish between fighters and civilians in its figures.

Some information for this report was provided by The Associated Press, Reuters and Agence France-Presse.

Source Link

You may also like

Leave a Comment

This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies.