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UN Security Council could put competing ceasefire resolutions to vote soon

Washington leaves room for Israel-Hamas negotiations, the “E10” calls for immediate halt to hostilities and France may float its own proposal.

A reflection of flags being raised at U.N. headquarters in New York City. Credit: Manuel Elías/U.N. Photo.
A reflection of flags being raised at U.N. headquarters in New York City. Credit: Manuel Elías/U.N. Photo.

A U.S.-drafted resolution at the U.N. Security Council that calls for a ceasefire between Israel and the Hamas terror organization has undergone a fifth revision, perhaps ahead of a vote in the days ahead.

The draft initially called for a six-week ceasefire and criticized a potential Israeli military operation in Rafah heavily. The resolution text now appears to have been watered down in Israel’s favor rather than leveraged under pressure from other council members.

The U.S. draft now “determines the imperative of an immediate and sustained ceasefire” to protect civilians and ramp up humanitarian aid, “and toward that end, unequivocally supports ongoing international diplomatic efforts to secure such a ceasefire in connection with the release of all remaining hostages.”

“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,” Antony Blinken, the U.S. secretary of state, told Christiane Baissary, of the Saudi state-run Al Hadath in Jeddah on Wednesday.

“I think that would send a strong message, a strong signal,” he said.

Washington has used its power as a permanent member of the Security Council to veto three previous resolutions. It said the three would hamper ongoing negotiations between Israel and Hamas through intermediaries by imposing an immediate ceasefire. 

The Biden administration has been largely isolated on the issue at the Security Council, with pockets of support on certain issues, such as the unfulfilled need to condemn Hamas.

The Security Council is set to hold closed consultations on Gaza on Thursday afternoon New York time.

The so-called “E10”—the 10 elected members of the 15-member council—is pushing its own resolution, which demands an immediate ceasefire during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and the release of all remaining hostages whom Hamas holds in Gaza. 

JNS sources indicated that the core of the E10 countries supports the resolution. The United States is certain to veto it should it come up for a vote in its current state.

Stéphane Séjourné, the French foreign minister, said on Thursday that “France will make proposals” at the Security Council. The body “must take its responsibilities and adopt a new resolution,” he said.

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