US Proposes Competing UN Resolution for Temporary Gaza Cease-fire

( – On Tuesday February 20, the United States vetoed the U.N. resolution which was supported by the 22-nation Arab Group represented by Algeria at the U.N. General Assembly. U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield said that the Arab-backed resolution could run counter to the aims of an alternative US-proposed resolution that focused on the release of all the hostage taken by Hamas, the lifting of all restrictions in order to allow much-needed humanitarian aid into Gaza, and a lengthy temporary cease-fire that hopefully would allow time for a more lasting peace to be negotiated.

U.S. deputy ambassador Robert Wood expressed doubt about the Algerian resolution on when speaking to reporters on Monday February 19, saying that it didn’t seem to have a good mechanism for achieving all three of their most imperative goals. The U.S. has been working to get the hostages released for months now, and there was some concern the Arab-backed resolution would have interfered with the hostage negotiations. The U.S. has already voted no on two council resolutions since the attack on October 7, and abstained on two others.

However, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been urging evacuation of civilians from Rafah, a city in the south of Gaza that approximately 1.5 million Palestinians have been relocated to. Tunisia’s U.N. Ambassador Tarek Ladeb, who is the chair of the Arab Group, expressed dismay at Israel’s intent to storm into Rafah, saying that would be a “catastrophic scenario”.

Protests and altercations between rival activists, as well as between law enforcement and sometimes violent protestors have erupted in many countries since the attack on Irael by Hamas on October 7, and the subsequent retaliation on Gaza by the Israeli military. There have been unending calls for a cease-fire by Palestinians and their supporters, as well as demands from Israel and Jewish people worldwide for the release of the hostages Hamas took. Now that the Algerian resolution has been voted down, the new U.S. resolution will need to be reviewed and hopefully this time a cease-fire will be reached.

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