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People sheltering in Rafah-Getty Images
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People sheltering in Rafah-Getty Images
USA News

Pushback after US calls for Israel ceasefire

by Lydia Davies

The US has shifted its stance on the Gaza conflict, proposing a UN Security Council resolution for a temporary ceasefire, while cautioning Israel against an incursion into the densely populated city of Rafah.

This marks a departure from previous UN votes where the term "ceasefire" was avoided.

However, it remains uncertain when or if the proposal will be put to a vote, as the US plans to veto an Algerian resolution calling for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire.

Greg Swenson, Chairman of Republicans Overseas UK, has concerns that the new proposal means forgetting about the Israeli hostages still in Gaza. In an interview with Premier he said “I think there is pressure, you know, globally, and I don’t think (a ceasefire) is a good idea personally. I think people need to understand and refresh that there are still 130 hostages scattered around Gaza”

He added how he believes “everyone would embrace” a ceasefire if Israel was promised the release of all hostages and strongly believes “all of this could stop if Hamas unconditionally surrender”

Swenson also believes that Biden has been swayed to make this decision by US states with a high Muslim population.

Over a million displaced Palestinians, nearly half of Gaza's population, seek refuge in Rafah, facing dire conditions with limited access to essentials like water and food.

The UN warned against an Israeli offensive in Rafah, fearing catastrophic consequences.

The conflict escalated after Hamas gunmen attacked southern Israel in October, resulting in casualties and mass hostage-taking.

The US, under pressure to intervene, opposed Israel's plans for a major ground offensive in Rafah and emphasised the importance of regional peace and security.

President Biden's recent conversations with Prime Minister Netanyahu echoed calls for a timely ceasefire.

Netanyahu, however, remains steadfast in his plans, aiming to free hostages and defeat Hamas by March 10, coinciding with the start of Ramadan.

The Arab nations urge the Security Council to heed international pleas for a ceasefire.

Talks on the US resolution are set to commence this week, but the timing of a potential vote remains uncertain.


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