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US warns against Israeli assault on Rafah in draft UN Security Council text

US warns against Israeli assault on Rafah in draft UN Security Council text
Palestinians amongst the rubble of a collapsed building following Israeli airstrikes in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, on Monday, 12 February 2024. (Photo: Ahmad Salem/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

The US proposed a UN Security Council resolution warning against an Israeli assault on Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip and calling for a temporary cease-fire, according to a copy of the draft text seen by Bloomberg.   

A major offensive in Rafah “would result in further harm to civilians and their further displacement including potentially into neighbouring countries, which would have serious implications for regional peace and security”, the text says. 

The US has so far been reluctant to back cease-fire proposals in the four-month old conflict. But frustration has grown with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has signalled he would move ahead with a full-scale invasion of the city despite demands from US President Joe Biden and European leaders to first establish a plan to ensure the safety of civilians.

Rafah’s population has swelled from some 250,000 to more than 1 million as Palestinians from across the territory seek refuge there. The UN’s Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths said last week an invasion would be “catastrophic”.

The draft proposal follows previous signals from the US, which holds council veto power, that it would likely block a push from Algeria demanding an immediate humanitarian cease-fire, saying this could jeopardise ongoing negotiations for a pause in the war. That vote could come as soon as Tuesday.

Israel has been at war with Hamas in the Gaza Strip since the 7 October invasion of southern Israel, during which some 1,200 people were killed and more than 200 were taken hostage. Since the fighting began, more than 28,000 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza, according to health officials in the Hamas-run territory.

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Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Agf Agf says:

    Let’s hope the resolution fails to pass. Hamas needs to be wiped out. A ceasefire will allow them to rearm and restock munitions and food. Why is there a resolution calling for Hamas to surrender and hand over the hostages? The war would end in an instant.

    • Enver Klein says:

      Do you still believe that? How naive. Listen to the rhetoric of Netanyahu, Danielle Weiss’, Gvir, and many others in the Israeli Cabinet and the veil should be lifted from your eyes. The greater Israel project has no room for Palestinians.

    • Enver Klein says:

      Rhetoric of Orit Strook, the Minister of Settlements and National Missions, “The entire Land of Israel is ours and we are its, and for this reason there will not be a Palestinian state in the Land of Israel because there is no such thing as a Palestinian people, there is no such nation.”

  • Jean Racine says:

    Where’s Frans Cronje and Paul Hoffman to run to Alec Hogg and, without proof, surmise that Iran has paid Biden to take a hard line on Netanyahu? What with an expensive tough election coming up!

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