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    Middle East conflict: UN resolution for Gaza ceasefire fails


    Algeria wanted to call for a ceasefire in Gaza with a UN resolution. The project failed due to the US veto.

    A draft resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip failed in the UN Security Council. The USA vetoed Council Member Algeria's draft resolution in New York on Tuesday. Given concerns about an impending Israeli military offensive in the area around the city of Rafah, the proposal was widely supported by the remaining council members: 13 of the 15 council members voted in favor of the draft, while Great Britain abstained.

    The USA had already announced that it wanted to exercise a veto. Israel's close ally had tried in recent days to prevent a vote on the Algerian text – according to its own statements, in order not to endanger important negotiations on the release of hostages between Israel and the Islamist terrorist organization Hamas. According to observers, Washington was also concerned with using a veto not to be seen as a pioneer of Israel's conduct of war, which is increasingly being criticized.

    “Sometimes tough diplomacy takes more time”

    US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield defended the American approach immediately before the vote in the most powerful UN body. The adoption of a resolution could have led to “the fighting between Hamas and Israel expanding.” It's about forcing Hamas to agree to a deal with Israel. “Sometimes tough diplomacy takes more time than any of us would like,” said Thomas-Greenfield. She understands the Council's desire to act urgently.

    In recent months, the US has used vetoes several times to protect Israel from Security Council resolutions. The USA's blockade stance has recently caused increasing frustration among the vast majority of the 15 council members. According to a senior official, the negotiations behind closed doors became significantly more emotional. If the US vetoed it, it would have to “take responsibility for everything that happens afterwards,” a senior council official said before the vote. “If Rafah happens, there is no going back.”

    Attack on Rafah planned

    In Rafah, the Israeli army is preparing for an invasion in order to destroy the remaining Hamas battalions and free suspected hostages there. However, the Israeli government has not yet issued an operational order. Military action in the southernmost city of the Gaza Strip is highly controversial because 1.5 million Palestinians are crowded there, most of whom had already fled fighting in other parts of the coastal area.

    Benny Gantz, a minister in Israel's war cabinet, made it clear on Sunday: “The world must know and Hamas leaders must know that if our hostages are not home by Ramadan, the fighting will continue and spread to Rafah.”

    However, it is uncertain whether international mediators will be able to negotiate a ceasefire and the release of hostages by the start of the Muslim fasting month on March 10.

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