Washington is pressing to demand an “immediate ceasefire” through the Security Council

The day after US President Joe Biden warned of a “very, very dangerous” situation if no agreement was reached this week, the United States presented for the third time an amended version of a draft resolution in the Security Council calling for an “immediate ceasefire” in Gaza, in parallel with frantic diplomatic efforts. These include pressure on Israel to deliver aid to the starving Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, and Hamas’s release of Israeli hostages.

While American diplomats await the reactions of the capitals to the proposed new formula for a ceasefire and the results of the ongoing talks to reach an agreement between Israel and Hamas, mediated by the United States, Egypt, Qatar and France, Biden’s statements reflect the extent of his fears about the dire consequences that could appear in Gaza after reports of… Deaths due to famine in the northern Gaza Strip after five months of stifling siege and devastating military operations, in addition to threats issued by the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to invade the Rafah area, which is crowded with more than a million displaced people on the border with Egypt.

US President Joe Biden (AP)

Simultaneous pressures

These warnings came after Vice President Kamala Harris called on Israel over the weekend to allow aid to flow into the Strip to stop the “humanitarian catastrophe” that had begun to emerge, in conjunction with her call on “Hamas” to accept an “immediate ceasefire” and release the hostages it has been holding since the October 7 attacks ( last October. These American messages were repeated consistently during the visit of Israeli war government minister Benny Gantz to Washington. He held meetings that included Harris, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, and a number of Democratic and Republican leaders in Congress.

After weeks of negotiations on its draft resolution, the United States amended the proposed text to include a statement stating that the Security Council “unequivocally supports international diplomatic efforts to begin the rapid and urgent implementation of an agreement on an immediate ceasefire for approximately six weeks in Gaza, with the release of all hostages when the parties agree.” He also stresses that he “fully supports using the window of opportunity created by any ceasefire to intensify diplomatic and other efforts with the aim of creating conditions for a sustainable cessation of hostilities and lasting peace” between the Palestinians and Israelis in accordance with Resolution 2720.

US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield (Reuters)

American decline

Thus, the United States retreated for the third time from previous versions of the resolution’s operative part, from calling for a temporary ceasefire “as soon as practical,” then to saying that the Security Council “unequivocally supports” diplomatic efforts to reach “quickly and urgently an agreement on a ceasefire.” fire temporarily,” and now to “unequivocal support for international diplomatic efforts to begin the rapid and urgent implementation of an immediate ceasefire agreement” in Gaza.

Washington had previously opposed the use of the word ceasefire. It used its veto power against three draft resolutions, two of which demanded an immediate ceasefire, during the war that has been raging for five months. More recently, the United States justified its veto on the grounds that previous projects would have jeopardized efforts by the United States, Egypt, and Qatar to mediate an end to the war and the release of the hostages.

The latest version not only matches the changing positions of senior officials in President Joe Biden’s administration, but also responds to the increasing internal pressure on the administration to end the war, which has begun to be clearly reflected in Biden’s popularity in the midst of his campaign to remain in the White House after the November 5 elections. .

Hamas has the ball

However, the United States wants any Security Council support for a ceasefire to be linked to the release of hostages held by Hamas in Gaza.

The US Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, said on Wednesday that “there is an agreement on the table for an immediate ceasefire that will lead to the release of the hostages and help increase humanitarian aid to the Palestinians who are in dire need of it,” adding that “now, the ball is in the cards.” Hamas’s playground to accept that deal. She stressed that she was seeking a “unanimous decision” in the Council, expecting to receive new responses from the rest of the Council members. She said that she did not want to “rush” in putting the draft resolution to a vote, “so I cannot give a specific timetable, but we are working to move forward” towards the vote.

Approval of any resolution requires the approval of at least nine of the 15 members of the Security Council, with no veto power being used by any of the permanent member states: the United States, France, Britain, Russia, or China.

Two Palestinian children suffering from malnutrition in Gaza (Reuters)

Child deaths

On the other hand, the representative of the World Health Organization in the occupied Palestinian territories, Dr. Rick Pepperkorn, stated that after a team from the organization and its partners were able to reach hospitals in northern Gaza, “it was confirmed that high levels of malnutrition among Palestinians, and the death of children due to hunger and an acute scarcity of fuel, food and supplies.” Medical facilities and the destruction of hospital buildings. He explained that the team visited Kamal Adwan and Al-Awda hospitals in northern Gaza.

James Alder, spokesman for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), said: “It is reported that at least 10 children died due to dehydration and malnutrition in Kamal Adwan Hospital,” suggesting that “a large number of other children are fighting for their lives.”

The World Food Program confirmed that its efforts to deliver urgently needed food supplies to northern Gaza were “largely unsuccessful.” “Although today’s convoy did not reach the north to provide food to the hungry, the World Food Program continues to explore all possible ways to do so,” said the program’s deputy executive director, Karl Skau.

In addition, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing, Balakrishnan Rajagopal, said that the scale and severity of the destruction in Gaza is “far worse than what happened in Aleppo and Mariupol or even Dresden and Rotterdam during World War II.”

The European cities of Dresden and Rotterdam were subjected to heavy bombing during World War II, which led to widespread destruction, the death and injury of tens of thousands, and the displacement of many.

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