US calls for UN to back 'temporary ceasefire' in Gaza

Rafah, where over a million Palestinians have sought safety during the war . Credit: AP

The United States has called for a temporary ceasefire in Gaza, in a new draft UN Security Council resolution.

Previously the Americans had avoided the word "ceasefire" during UN votes on the war, but this new resolution calls for a temporary ceasefire in Gaza, linked to the release of all hostages.

It also calls for the lifting of all restrictions on the delivery of humanitarian aid.

The US also vetoed a rival Algerian-drafted resolution asking for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire, over concerns it could jeopardise its ongoing negotiations with Egypt, Israel and Qatar.

The vote in the 15-member Security Council was 13-1 with the UK abstaining, reflecting the wide global support for ending the more than four-month war.

The Security Council voted on the Algerian-drafted resolution concerning a ceasefire in Gaza. Credit: AP

It was the third US veto of a Security Council resolution demanding a cease-fire in Gaza.

The comments come after Arab Group Chair and Tunisia's UN ambassador Tarek Ladeb told reporters last week that a ceasefire is urgently needed.

Over a million displaced Palestinians have sought safety in the city of Rafah in southern Gaza and on the border of Egypt. Prior to the war, it was home to just 250,000 people.

Prior to the war, Rafah was home to around 250,000 people Credit: AP

Mr Ladeb said that Palestinians who have sought safety there face a “catastrophic scenario” if Netanyahu goes ahead with his plan to evacuate civilians from the city and move Israel’s military offensive to the area bordering Egypt, where Israel says Hamas fighters are hiding.

It is unclear where Palestinians are meant to be going. On Tuesday morning, Netanyahu ordered new evacuations from the Zaytoun and Turkoman neighborhoods on the southern edge of Gaza City.

Israel launched operations in Gaza following an attack by Hamas on southern Israel on October 7. Around 1,200 people were killed in the attack, with more than 240 others taken hostage.

The UN security council will vote on the Algeria resolution on Tuesday Credit: AP

The number of Palestinians killed in the war has surpassed 29,000 people at the time of writing, according to the Hamas-run Health Ministry.

Previously, the US avoided the word "ceasefire" during UN votes on the war, but President Joe Biden made similar comments in conversations with Benjamin Netanyahu last week.

The Security Council scheduled the vote on the resolution at 3pm GMT on Tuesday, but this could change.

In order to pass, a resolution needs at least nine votes in favor and no vetoes by the US, France, Britain, Russia or China.

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