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With new UN ceasefire resolution, Algeria all but dares Washington to veto 

The North African country, with a long history of being anti-Israel, appears to believe the United States is out of excuses to block the resolution.

Sign post to Algeria. Credit: jorisamonen/Pixabay.
Sign post to Algeria. Credit: jorisamonen/Pixabay.

Washington is out of reasons for rejecting a U.N. Security Council resolution insisting upon a ceasefire between Israel and the Hamas terror organization, according to Algeria, which plans next week to put forward a resolution to that effect to a vote at the United Nations.

A final version of the resolution, which has circulated among members of the council, is the latest attempt by Algeria, the council’s de facto representative of the Arab and Muslim world, to stop Israel’s military operation in Gaza to eliminate Hamas and free the hostages, whom terrorists have held since Oct. 7.

The North African country, which once had one of the world’s oldest Jewish communities but now has no Jewish presence, has a long history of virulent opposition to Israel.

The United States has vetoed all previous resolutions demanding a ceasefire, with Washington insisting early in the war that Israel had the right to defend itself against Hamas. More recently, the Biden administration declared that council members should defer to ongoing negotiations between Israel and Hamas through intermediaries, including Qatar, Egypt and France.

Algerian diplomats said this week that a cycle of rejections of the terms of a humanitarian ceasefire by the warring parties puts to bed Washington’s diplomacy-first efforts, necessitating, the anti-Israel country said, action from the council.

The new Algeria draft demands an immediate ceasefire, which all parties must respect, and immediate and unconditional release of all the hostages. It further calls upon all parties to “comply with their obligation under international law in relation to all persons they detain.”

The resolution also insists upon a rapid, safe scale-up of humanitarian aid into Gaza and the formation of a Palestinian state, among other provisions.

The Palestinian Authority’s U.N. envoy Riyad Mansour appeared to give away the game on Wednesday when he told the press in Arabic that the resolution “is leverage for those who want to use it as a pressure tool on the Israeli side to speed up the process of completing this deal.”

“We were very close to a deal with regard to getting hostages out and getting aid in, and Hamas threw a wrench into them and put forward another proposal that they knew was a non-starter,” said Robert Wood, U.S. deputy ambassador to the United Nations, on Monday.

Wood added that the talks would continue and “we’re still going to try to reach an agreement we think that’s the best way to end this fighting right now and get to scale up humanitarian aid.”

A vote on Algeria’s resolution will likely come next week. 

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken held a call with Algerian foreign minister Ahmed Attaf on Wednesday, with some Arabic media outlets claiming Blinken attempted to talk Attaf out of filing the resolution.

The Algerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the “conversation falls within the framework of regular consultations that the two ministers agreed to maintain on major international and regional issues of common interest.”

The two top diplomats agreed to “continue close coordination” on issues related to the war that arise before the Security Council, according to Matthew Miller, the U.S. State Department spokesman.

The two also talked “about ongoing diplomatic efforts to achieve an enduring end to the crisis in Gaza that provides lasting peace and security for Israelis and Palestinians alike,” Miller added. “They discussed the urgency of ensuring civilians are protected, increasing humanitarian aid to Palestinians in Gaza and our strong commitment to establishing a Palestinian state.”

The Palestinian Authority’s U.N. mission is expected to travel to The Hague early next week for the opening of a week’s worth of hearings in the genocide case South Africa launched against Israel.

That means a vote on Algeria’s resolution likely won’t come before Wednesday. The regular monthly U.N. Security Council meeting on the Israel-Palestinian file is scheduled for Thursday, making that day an additional candidate for a vote.

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