Algeria proposes UN Security Council resolution to end Israeli attacks on Rafah

New York, New York - Algeria has presented a draft resolution to UN Security Council members calling for an end to Israel's offensive in Rafah and an "immediate ceasefire," according to a draft text seen by AFP.

Algerian Ambassador to the UN Amar Bendjama has not specified when the resolution to stop the Israeli attacks on Rafah will go to a vote.
Algerian Ambassador to the UN Amar Bendjama has not specified when the resolution to stop the Israeli attacks on Rafah will go to a vote.  © ANGELA WEISS / AFP

Defying international pressure, Israel has been conducting brutal military operations in Rafah, which is packed with people who have fled from other ravaged areas in the Israeli-occupied Gaza Strip.

The draft resolution, which draws on last week's ruling by the International Court of Justice, "decides that Israel, the occupying Power, shall immediately halt its military offensive, and any other action in Rafah."

It also "demands an immediate ceasefire respected by all parties, and also demands the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages."

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During its October 7 attack, Hamas militants took 252 Israeli hostages, 121 of whom remain in Gaza, including 37 the army says are dead.

Algeria called an urgent UN Security Council meeting on Tuesday after an Israeli strike killed 45 people at a tent camp in Rafah for displaced people on Sunday, drawing international condemnation.

A civil defense official in Gaza said another Israeli strike on a displacement camp west of Rafah on Tuesday killed at least 21 more people.

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After blocking several prior ceasefire resolutions, American Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield said the US would respond to Algeria's latest resolution after reviewing it.
After blocking several prior ceasefire resolutions, American Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield said the US would respond to Algeria's latest resolution after reviewing it.  © ARIC BECKER / AFP

Algeria's UN Ambassador Amar Bendjama has not specified when he hopes to put the draft resolution to a vote.

"We hope that it could be done as quickly as possible because life is in the balance," said Chinese ambassador Fu Cong, expressing hope for a vote this week.

"It's high time for this council to take action. This is a matter of life and death. This is a matter of emergency," the French ambassador Nicolas de Riviere said before the council meeting.

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The council has struggled to find a unified voice since October 7.

After passing two resolutions centered on the need for humanitarian aid to people in Gaza, in March the council passed a resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire – an appeal that had been blocked several times before by the US, Israel's main ally.

Washington finally allowed that resolution to pass by abstaining from voting.

But the White House said Tuesday that Israel's offensive in Rafah had not amounted to the type of full-scale operation that would breach President Joe Biden's "red lines," and said it had no plans to change its policy toward Israel.

Asked about the new Algerian draft resolution, US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield said, "we're waiting to see it and then we'll react to it."

Cover photo: Collage: ANGELA WEISS / AFP & REUTERS

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