The Biden administration proposed a United Nations Security Council resolution calling for a temporary ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war, Reuters reported Monday.

The alternative U.N. Security Council resolution would back a temporary ceasefire in the war and reject an Israeli ground assault in Rafah, the southernmost region of the Gaza Strip, according to text of the resolution reviewed by Reuters. The Biden administration has thus far been generally supportive of Israel’s war efforts against Hamas but there are increasing disagreements over how it should be carried out.

“[The U.S. alternative resolution] determines that under current circumstances a major ground offensive into Rafah would result in further harm to civilians and their further displacement including potentially into neighboring countries.”

Rafah sits on the border of Gaza and Egypt and Israel plans to storm the region and root out the remaining Hamas terrorists located there, as it has already taken military control of most of Gaza since war broke out on Oct. 7. Hamas attacked Israel on Oct. 7, killing over 1,200 civilians, prompting Israel to launch a counteroffensive in Gaza to eradicate the terrorist regime.

Gaza’s Health Ministry estimates that more than 29,000 Palestinians have been killed since the start of the Israel-Hamas war on Oct. 7, according to The Associated Press, though that number does not discriminate between militants and civilians. The Health Ministry is controlled by Hamas and has been criticized for providing unreliable information, according to The Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

The Biden administration opposes an Israeli assault in Rafah unless it has an ironclad plan to ensure Palestinians in the region, of which there are currently roughly 1 million seeking refuge, aren’t further displaced by the conflict, according to Reuters and The Wall Street Journal. Egypt has already begun building a walled-off enclosure near its northern border in the case of a major Palestinian migration.

An assault in Rafah “would have serious implications for regional peace and security, and therefore underscores that such a major ground offensive should not proceed under current circumstances,” according to the U.S. alternative U.N. Security Council resolution, as reviewed by Reuters.

Israel plans to create “buffer zones” inside Gaza’s border in a bid to increase security between the two regions, according to Reuters. The U.S. alternative U.N. Security Council resolution opposes “any actions by any party that reduce the territory of Gaza, on a temporary or permanent basis, including through the establishment officially or unofficially of so-called buffer zones.”

The U.S. is traditionally supportive of Israel and has used its veto power at the U.N. to prevent other nations from passing resolutions against the nation, according to Reuters. The U.S. has used its veto power to protect Israel twice since Oct. 7 but has also abstained from voting twice, allowing other nations to proceed without them.

The U.S. resolution is an alternative version after Algeria proposed to vote on a resolution Tuesday that would call for a full-scale ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, which the U.S. signaled it would reject. It isn’t clear when the U.S. alternative draft will be voted on in the U.N. Security Council.

The U.S. Mission to the U.N. did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Jake Smith on February 19, 2024

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *