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US hints that it won’t back French Security Council resolution calling for ceasefire

Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US correspondent based in New York

US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield attends a Cabinet meeting with President Joe Biden in the East Room of the White House on April 1, 2021, in Washington. (AP/Evan Vucci)
US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield attends a Cabinet meeting with President Joe Biden in the East Room of the White House on April 1, 2021, in Washington. (AP/Evan Vucci)

The US appears slated to veto a UN Security Council resolution proposed by France calling for an immediate ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.

Asked about the resolution, an official at the US mission told The Times of Israel, “We’ve been clear and consistent that we are focused on intensive diplomatic efforts underway to bring an end to the violence and that we will not support actions that we believe undermine efforts to de-escalate.”

The official declined to comment further.

The Times of Israel obtained a copy of the resolution still being negotiated among members.

The eight point resolution reads as follows:

1. Demands an immediate cessation of hostilities;

2. Calls upon all parties to ensure full respect of international humanitarian law and international human right law, including the protection of civilian population;

3. Calls for the intensification of all efforts to de-escalate and to reach an immediate durable and fully respected ceasefire agreement;

4. Calls for the unimpeded provision and distribution throughout Gaza of humanitarian assistance and welcomes the first steps taken in this regard;

5. Calls on member states to support international efforts to alleviate the humanitarian and economic situation in Gaza, including through urgently needed additional contributions to UNRWA and through the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee;

6. Calls upon member states to intensify efforts to provide arrangements and guarantees in Gaza in order to sustain a durable ceasefire and calm, including to prevent illicit trafficking in arms and ammunition and to ensure the sustained reopening of the crossing points on the basis of the 2005 Agreement on Movement and Access between the Palestinian Authority and Israel;

7. Urges for the intensification and acceleration of diplomatic efforts and support for a negotiated two-state solution consistent with international law, and in line with relevant UN resolutions where two democratic states, Israel and Palestine live side by side in peace within secure and recognized borders;

8. Decides to remain seized of the matter.

The resolution can still be amended and no date has been given for when it will be introduced. The latest version makes no mention of Hamas rocket fire, but does hint at Hamas illicit smuggling of weapons into Gaza. It also does not explicitly criticize either side for the fighting.

A veto in the Security Council is likely something the Biden administration wants to avoid as the president has vowed to take a more multilateral approach to diplomacy and improve ties with longtime allies that were damaged by his predecessor Donald Trump.

The US mission has already blocked three joint statements calling for a ceasefire that were backed by 14 of the 15 Security Council members.

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