U.S. vetoes U.N. proposal for rapid stop hearth, drawing ire | EUROtoday

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The United States for the third time on Tuesday vetoed a United Nations Security Council decision calling for an instantaneous cease-fire within the Gaza Strip, arguing that it will undercut ongoing U.S.-led negotiations for a six-week pause in preventing that might see Hamas launch extra than 100 remaining Israeli hostages in change for jailed Palestinians and extra humanitarian assist for civilians.

The decision, launched by Algeria on behalf of the Arab group of U.N. members, “would send the wrong message to Hamas,” U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield mentioned, and “would actually give them something that they have asked for without requiring them to do something in return.”

Instead, Thomas-Greenfield known as on council members to help another U.S. decision, nonetheless in draft kind, demanding that Israel — together with agreeing to a “temporary ceasefire as soon as practicable” to allow the discharge of hostages — chorus from a serious floor offensive into Rafah and take “immediate measures” to permit the unimpeded stream of humanitarian assist into the enclave via further land and sea entry factors.

So far, U.S. appeals on to Israel on all of these factors have met with little constructive response, not less than in public. President Biden, underneath stress at residence and overseas to make use of U.S. leverage extra successfully, has grow to be more and more direct, calling Israeli army ways “over the top,” whilst Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has mentioned he won’t bow to worldwide calls for till a complete victory over Hamas is achieved.

The United States stood alone in opposing the decision for an instantaneous cease-fire and asking for extra negotiating time. With the exception of Britain, which abstained, the remainder of the council’s 15 members voted in favor of the Algerian decision, which additionally demanded the discharge of all hostages.

In each offended and sorrowful speeches, ambassadors from one nation after one other indicated that they had had sufficient.

“The human toll and the humanitarian situation in Gaza is intolerable, and Israeli operations must stop,” French Ambassador Nicolas de Rivière mentioned after voting in favor of the decision.

“It is not that the Security Council does not have an overriding consensus, but rather it is the exercise of the veto by the United States that has stifled the council consensus,” mentioned China’s envoy, Zhang Jun.

The veto was a “stark example of double standards,” mentioned Egyptian Ambassador Osama Mahmoud Abdel Khalek Mahmoud, whose authorities, together with Qatar and the United States, is a part of the hostage negotiation effort between Israel and Hamas. Mahmoud expressed “disappointment and frustration as a result of the obstruction of the U.S.”

Far from impeding the dialogue on a hostage launch, he mentioned, the vetoed decision would have created “conditions conducive for its success.”

The negotiations themselves, initially anticipated to maneuver swiftly after a proposed “framework” was offered to Israel and Hamas practically three weeks in the past, haven’t been going nicely. “We made some good progress [the] last few weeks … but the last few days have not been progressing as expected,” Qatari Prime Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani mentioned Saturday on the Munich Security Conference.

If agreements on excellent points will be reached “in the next few days,” he mentioned, “I believe we can see a deal happen very soon. … But the past few days are not really very promising.”

On Tuesday, the Biden administration dispatched one among its largest weapons on the problem — National Security Council Middle East coordinator Brett McGurk — to Cairo and Tel Aviv “specifically to see if we can get this hostage deal in place,” council spokesman John Kirby advised reporters on the White House. “We are at a very delicate time right now, with these discussions going on.”

The United States is striving to increase on an earlier, week-long pause within the Israel-Gaza warfare in November, which led to the discharge of 105 hostages — girls and youngsters — who had been captured by Hamas throughout its Oct. 7 assault on southern Israel. That assault left about 1,200 Israelis useless and sparked an enormous army retaliation.

The new framework outlines a six-week cessation of hostilities. The proposed U.S. decision for the primary time known as it a “cease fire,” albeit a brief one which Biden administration officers are hoping lasts lengthy sufficient to result in one thing extra everlasting.

An administration official, talking on the situation of anonymity to debate delicate diplomacy, known as the U.S. draft decision an “affirmative vision” that might put calls for on Israel in addition to Hamas, and contained a agency dedication to a long-term answer for an enduring peace and the rebuilding of Gaza. Thomas-Greenfield invited different governments to seek the advice of on the doc however gave no indication of when it could be provided for a vote.

U.S., Arab nations plan for postwar Gaza, timeline for Palestinian state

Israel’s ongoing operations in Gaza have left practically 30,000 useless, based on Gazan well being officers. Hundreds of 1000’s of civilians fled to southern Gaza when Israel started its air and floor assault within the north, however as many as 300,000 individuals are estimated to stay there. While assist deliveries have been troublesome all through the enclave, few have managed to reach in northern Gaza due to continued preventing, destroyed roads and Israeli denial of passage.

After its vehicles have been mobbed by civilian looters, the World Food Program mentioned Tuesday that it was suspending what it known as “life saving” assist deliveries to the north due to security issues, amid what it described as “unprecedented levels of desperation” throughout Gaza.

Israel has repeatedly mentioned enough assist has been made accessible and accused UNRWA, the U.N. company that’s the predominant distributor of humanitarian help to Palestinians, of collaborating with Hamas and permitting it to siphon off assist. “UNRWA is a terrorist organization,” Israel’s U.N. ambassador, Gilad Erdan, advised the Security Council on Tuesday. “In Gaza, Hamas is the U.N. and the U.N. is Hamas.”

Many of those that fled destruction within the north at the moment are crammed into tents, makeshift shelters and the streets of Rafah, alongside the Egyptian border, after Israel shifted the point of interest of its offensive to the southern metropolis of Khan Younis, in pursuit of what it says are Hamas leaders who’ve taken refuge in a community of tunnels.

“Absolutely nothing has changed about our desire to see the threat from Hamas eliminated,” Kirby mentioned. “We don’t believe the Hamas leadership should be able to get off scot free here after what happened on the seventh of October.”

But he reiterated Biden’s warning to Israel to not assault Rafah with no “credible and executable plan” to guard civilians. “We do not support major operations in Rafah that do not properly account for … the safety and security of those million plus people finding refuge,” he mentioned. “I am not aware yet of the existence of a credible plan to do that at this time.” Kirby mentioned McGurk would repeat that message when he arrives in Israel on Thursday.

Netanyahu has mentioned calling off or delaying a Rafah offensive can be tantamount to telling Israel to “lose the war” towards Hamas. On Tuesday, he repeated that Israel wouldn’t change course.

“We are committed to continuing the war until we achieve all of its goals,” Netanyahu mentioned. “There is no pressure, none, that can change this.”

Israel has indicated {that a} Rafah offensive would happen earlier than the March 10 starting of Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of fasting.

That has grow to be the operative deadline for attaining a hostage deal. Israel described as “delusional” Hamas’s counterproposal for the discharge of 1,500 Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails. The negotiating framework would see three prisoners freed for every hostage — the identical phrases because the November pause.

Officials have indicated that humanitarian assist is now the largest downside, with Hamas demanding that not less than 500 vehicles enter Gaza every day. Negotiators fear that until new routes are allowed to open, will probably be troublesome to get above the present degree of 200 on day.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2024/02/20/israel-gaza-ceasefire-us-veto/