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Moscow and Beijing block US resolution on “immediate ceasefire” in Gaza

Photo: Mohammed Abed Agence France-Presse Palestinian children are photographed in front of makeshift shelters set up in Rafah, in the south of the Gaza Strip.

Adel Zaanoun – Agence France-Presse and Léon Bruneau – Agence France-Presse respectively in the Gaza Strip and Tel-Aviv

11:27 a.m.

  • Middle East

American Secretary of State Antony Blinken met Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel on Friday, pressed to act to increase humanitarian aid to Gaza, while the Chinese and Russians vetoed a draft American resolution at the UN regarding the need for an “immediate ceasefire.”

After five and a half months of war between Israel and the Islamist movement Hamas in the besieged Palestinian territory, on the verge of famine, Washington is also seeking to convince its ally to avoid a major ground offensive on the overcrowded town of Rafah, fearing heavy civilian losses.

Arriving in Tel Aviv in the morning from Cairo, as part of a regional tour, Mr. Blinken met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for around forty minutes, before participating in a meeting of the war cabinet.

On the ground, clashes show no respite across the Palestinian territory, particularly in and around the al-Chifa hospital, the largest in the territory, where the Israeli army claimed on Friday to have killed more than 150 Palestinian fighters and arrested hundreds of suspects since the start of the week.

“The gap is narrowing”

The United Kingdom and Australia called on Friday for an “immediate end to the fighting” in the Gaza Strip, to allow “the delivery of aid and the release of kidnapped hostages” in Israel on October 7 during the bloody Hamas attack.

Talks on a truce continue Friday in Doha, where the head of Mossad, Israel's intelligence service, David Barnea, is due to meet with CIA Director William Burns, Qatari Prime Minister Mohammed bin Abdelrahman Al-Thani, and the head of Egyptian intelligence services, Abbas Kamel.

“The gap is narrowing” in these negotiations for a truce associated with a release of hostages, Mr. Blinken said on Thursday, speaking of an agreement “still possible”.

In parallel with these talks, a draft resolution at the UN Security Council presented by the United States on an immediate ceasefire was not adopted due to Russian vetoes and Chinese.

The text emphasized “the need for an immediate and lasting ceasefire to protect civilians on all sides, enable the delivery of essential humanitarian assistance.”

The Russian ambassador denounced a “hypocritical” text which did not directly call for silencing the guns.

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Rafah, an “error”

The United States has already vetoed several resolutions calling for a ceasefire, believing that it would have benefited Hamas, considered a terrorist organization by the United States, Israel and Israel. 'European Union.

But faced with the “appalling” humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip, Washington is intensifying its efforts to reach a truce, deliver aid and avoid a ground offensive on Rafah, a town on the Egyptian border where people are crowded according to the UN approximately 1.5 million Palestinians, the majority displaced by the war.

“There are better ways to deal with the threat from Hamas,” Blinken said Thursday, calling a potential ground invasion of Rafah “a mistake.”

Despite international pressure, Mr. Netanyahu says a ground offensive on Rafah is necessary to “defeat” Hamas.

While waiting for this possible operation, new Israeli airstrikes took place during the night from Thursday to Friday in this town, where a house was largely destroyed.

“The house was hit while people were sleeping. Among them were children and innocent people […] They were torn to pieces,” said Nabil Abou Thabet, a resident.

The war broke out on October 7 when Hamas commandos infiltrated from Gaza carried out an unprecedented attack in southern Israel, resulting in the deaths of at least 1,160 people, most of them civilians, according to an AFP count established using official Israeli data.

According to Israel, around 250 people have been kidnapped and 130 of them are still hostages in Gaza, of whom 33 are believed to have died.

“Children are dying of starvation”

In retaliation, Israel vowed to annihilate Hamas and launched a vast offensive which left a total of 31,988 dead in Gaza, the Islamist movement's Health Ministry said on Thursday, while early Friday, witnesses reported new deadly strikes.

Israel has imposed a complete siege on the Gaza Strip since the start of the war and strictly controls the aid which arrives mainly from Egypt via Rafah. However, these tight controls, according to the UN, have the effect of reducing the number of trucks entering the territory.

Israel regularly rejects accusations that it restricts the entry of aid, and during a press tour on Thursday, the army notably showed the entry of aid trucks humanitarian, in the north of the Gaza Strip, coming from Israel, through gate 96.

In order to relieve the population, several countries are organizing food airdrops and have opened a maritime corridor from Cyprus to Gaza. But aid remains insufficient to meet the needs of Gaza's 2.4 million inhabitants and is only reaching the north with great difficulty, where more than 300,000 people live according to the UN.

“Here are our children, do you see their condition ? We don’t know how to feed them,” a Palestinian woman fleeing fighting in the al-hospital area told AFP on Thursday Chifa: “We have been under siege for three days, we cannot give them anything to eat or drink.”

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116