US unveils draft UN resolution seeking immediate Gaza ceasefireBreaking

March 21, 2024

The United States has circulated a draft UN Security Council resolution calling for an “immediate ceasefire linked to the release of hostages” in the Gaza Strip, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said. The diplomat made his announcement whilst on a tour of the Middle East that will include a stop in Israel. Key Israel backer the United States has vetoed previous UN Security Council votes on the nearly six-month war, objecting as recently as in February to the use of the term “immediate” in a draft submitted by Algeria. In recent weeks, however, Washington has upped the pressure on its ally, while insisting that Hamas must immediately release the hostages seized during its October 7 attacks on Israel. “Well, in fact, we actually have a resolution that we put forward right now that’s before the United Nations Security Council that does call for an immediate ceasefire tied to the release of hostages, and we hope very much that countries will support that,” Blinken said in Saudi Arabia.

“I think that would send a strong message, a strong signal,” he told Saudi media outlet Al Hadath on Wednesday.  “Of course, we stand with Israel and its right to defend itself… but at the same time, it’s imperative that the civilians who are in harm’s way and who are suffering so terribly -– that we focus on them, that we make them a priority, protecting the civilians, getting them humanitarian assistance,” Blinken said. US officials had been negotiating an alternative text since blocking an Algerian draft resolution calling for an “immediate humanitarian ceasefire” in Gaza at the end of February. That alternative, focusing on support for a six-week truce in exchange for the release of hostages, had little chance winning approval, according to diplomatic sources.

Credit: Independent News Pakistan