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Proposal for “immediate ceasefire” at UN again ends in deadlock

Photo: Mohammed Abed Agence France-Presse Palestinian children displaced by war lined up Monday for food at a school in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip.

Adel Zaanoun – Agence France-Presse and Emmanuel Duparcq – Agence France-Presse respectively in the Gaza Strip and Jerusalem

10:55 a.m.

  • Middle East

The United States on Tuesday vetoed a draft UN Security Council resolution demanding an “immediate” ceasefire in Gaza, its third veto since the start of the war between their Israeli ally and Hamas.

The draft text, prepared by Algeria, which received 13 votes for, one against and one abstention (United Kingdom), opposes the “forced displacement of the Palestinian civilian population”, while Israel spoke of an evacuation of civilians before an offensive in Rafah.

Meanwhile, deadly Israeli strikes continued to target the Gaza Strip, where the humanitarian situation remains catastrophic, particularly in the city of Rafah, threatened by a ground offensive.

Nearly a million and a half people, according to the UN, are massed in Rafah, located in the south of the Palestinian territory against the closed border with Egypt, whose population has increased sixfold since the start of the war , on October 7, between Israel and Hamas.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced an upcoming offensive on the overpopulated city, targeted daily by Israeli strikes, in order to defeat the Palestinian Islamist movement in its “last bastion” and free the hostages held in Gaza.

This prospect worries the international community, while hopes of an end to the fighting are increasingly slim. The head of the Hamas political bureau, Ismaïl Haniyeh, based in Qatar, however, arrived in Cairo on Tuesday for new discussions on a truce with Egyptian officials.

At the Security Council, the United States presented an alternative draft resolution which evokes a “temporary ceasefire in Gaza as soon as it is feasible” and on the basis of a “formula » including the release of all the hostages. This text also warns that “a large-scale ground offensive” on Rafah “should not take place under current conditions”.

According to a diplomatic source, this text has no chance of being adopted as is, in particular because of the risk of a Russian veto.

On Tuesday, the Hamas Ministry of Health announced that bombings on Gaza had killed 103 people in 24 hours.

Strikes notably targeted Khan Younes, a few kilometers north of Rafah, according to an AFP journalist, where Israeli soldiers are tracking down Hamas fighters in the middle of the ruins.

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“Humiliated and destroyed”

“We didn’t leave our house. We don't know where to go,” said Abdullah Al-Qadi, a 67-year-old man who lives in Zaytoun, a neighborhood in Gaza City in the north that was also bombed: “We will die in our house and that is better than death. humiliation that our loved ones who have been displaced tell us about. People are humiliated and destroyed.”

Reports from humanitarian organizations are increasingly alarming about the situation in the Gaza Strip, devastated and besieged by Israel, where 2.2 million people are threatened with famine, according to the UN.

Food and clean water have become “extremely scarce” in Gaza, according to UN agencies which are concerned about an imminent “explosion” in the number of child deaths.

The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) on Tuesday once again suspended the distribution of its aid in the north of the territory, prey to “chaos and violence”.

Humanitarian aid, still insufficient, enters the Gaza Strip mainly through Rafah via Egypt, but its delivery to the north is made almost impossible by the fighting and destruction.

“Missiles are falling on us, how much longer can a human being cope with them?” asks Ayman Abou Shammali, injured in a strike in Zawayda, in the center of the territory. “People in the north are dying of hunger and we are dying here from the bombings,” he adds.

The war was sparked by an unprecedented attack launched on October 7 by Hamas commandos infiltrated into southern Israel. More than 1,160 people were killed, the majority civilians, according to an AFP count based on official Israeli data.

In retaliation, Israel vowed to annihilate the Islamist movement, in power in Gaza since 2007, which it considers a terrorist organization along with the United States and the European Union.

The Israeli army launched an offensive that left 29,195 dead in Gaza, the vast majority civilians, according to the Hamas Ministry of Health.

According to Israel, 130 hostages are still being held in Gaza, 30 of whom are believed to be dead, out of approximately 250 people kidnapped on October 7.

“An explosive tank”

“The world must prevent the invasion of Rafah. Rafah has become an explosive reservoir and its invasion would mean thousands of deaths,” Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said on Tuesday.

Prince William also called on Tuesday for “an end to the fighting as quickly as possible” in Gaza, moving away from the reserve usually imposed by the British royal family.

In Israel, families of hostages continue to pressure the government to secure the release of their loved ones.

“We desperately call on decision-makers in Israel and around the world to get involved in negotiations and bring them home immediately,” Ofri Bibas, whose brother Yarden was kidnapped, said Tuesday on October 7 with his wife and two children, one of whom was less than nine months old at the time.

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