Sunday, June 23, 2024

Reports: U.N. Security Council Prepares for Another Resolution Demanding Israel Stop Fighting Hamas

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Multiple reports on Tuesday indicated that representatives from Algeria had prepared a draft resolution for the United Nations Security Council that would demand Israel stop its self-defense operations against the terrorist group Hamas in Gaza.

The U.N. Security Council held an emergency meeting on Tuesday after Israel conducted an airstrike on Sunday in the southern city of Rafah where the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) claimed to have eliminated several senior Hamas leaders. Hamas, which governs Gaza, claimed that dozens died as the airstrike resulted in a fire that spread across tents housing Palestinians displaced by the ongoing war.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed criticism of the strike on Monday, calling the deaths of any civilians a “tragic mistake” and vowing an investigation. The IDF is reportedly investigating if the airstrike targeting Hamas leaders caused a secondary explosion by coming into contact with Hamas munitions or other flammable items in the area, but has not definitively offered an explanation for the fire at press time.

The Associated Press

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chairs a cabinet meeting at the Kirya military base, which houses the Israeli Ministry of Defense, in Tel Aviv, Israel, on Dec. 24, 2023. (AP Photo/Ohad Zwigenberg, Pool, File)

Algeria called the U.N. Security Council meeting on Tuesday and reportedly prepared a resolution calling for an immediate end to operations in Rafah. Speaking to reporters following the meeting, Algerian Ambassador Amar Bendjama confirmed work on a draft resolution, promising “a short text, a decisive text, to stop the killing Rafah,” according to the Agence France-Presse (AFP).

The Associated Press claimed to obtain the draft resolution on Tuesday night. The text the AP viewed reportedly demands an immediate ceasefire, the immediate release of the Hamas hostages, and for Israel to “immediately halt its military offensive, and any other action in Rafah.” The draft resolution would also reportedly declare that “the catastrophic situation in the Gaza Strip constitutes a threat to regional and international peace and security.”

The AP claimed that Algerian officials are hoping to put the draft text to a vote as soon as possible and have some support from the most anti-Israel members of the Council.

“We hope that it could be done as quickly as possible because life is in the balance,” Chinese Ambassador Fu Cong reportedly told AFP.

Israel declared war against Hamas, a genocidal jihadist terror outfit, in October after Hamas terrorists invaded Israel, killing 1,200 people and engaging in a spree of crimes against humanity including gang rape, infanticide, and the desecration of corpses, among other atrocities. Evidence, including films created and uploaded online by the terrorists themselves, indicated that they targeted children, the elderly, and the disabled indiscriminately. Some victims were so disfigured Israeli authorities had to call on archaeologists to help identify them.

Hamas also took an estimated 250 hostages, of which 121 remain missing as of May 23. In addition to preventing a repeat of the unprecedented assault on the Israeli homeland, the IDF operations in Gaza are intended to rescue the hostages or return their bodies to their families should they not survive.

Hostages

A woman reaches out to touch one the posters showing the names and photographs of the hostages in Gaza on October 21,2023. (Heidi Levine for The Washington Post via Getty Images).

If passed, the proposed U.N. resolution would be the second time the Security Council calls for a ceasefire in Gaza. The first such resolution passed in March, shortly before the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan and demanded that both sides stop fighting through the Eid al-Fitr holiday, which marks the end of the month. That resolution also called for “the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages, as well as ensuring humanitarian access to address their medical and other humanitarian needs.”

Both Israel and Hamas largely ignored that resolution and the conflict has endured since.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who has enthusiastically opposed Israel’s self-defense operations since October, issued an irate statement on Tuesday before the Security Council meeting through spokesman Stéphane Dujarric, condemning Israel.

“The Secretary-General has condemned in the strongest terms the 26 May air strikes on Rafah hitting tents sheltering displaced people,” the statement read. “He is heartbroken by the images of the killed and injured, including many small children. As he has said before, the horror and suffering must stop immediately.”

“We must work expeditiously to restore security, dignity and hope for the affected population. This will require urgent efforts to support and strengthen the new Palestinian Government and its institutions,” the statement continued, “including preparing the Palestinian Authority to reassume its responsibilities in Gaza. We must also move forward with tangible and irreversible steps to create a political horizon.”

Guterres concluded with a call to the “two-state solution” — the creation of a Palestinian state carved out of Israel.

The Associated Press

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres addresses the United Nations Security Council during an emergency meeting at U.N. headquarters, Sunday, April 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Yuki Iwamura)

The IDF began its operations in northern Gaza and has since pulled into Rafah, the Gaza Strip’s southernmost city, which borders Egypt. Israeli officials have argued that allowing the continued existence of Hamas in any way, including allowing it to retain a safe haven in Rafah, could allow the terrorists to regroup and conduct another attack similar to that of October 7.

The airstrike prompting the proposed resolution this week reportedly killed two senior members of the Hamas “Judea and Samaria” wing, Khaled Nagar and Yassin Rabia. The civilians killed in the subsequent fire were reportedly in a nearby displaced persons camp.

IDF Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari told reporters on Tuesday that officials believe it is possible that Hamas munitions stored near the camp and hit by the airstrike caused the fire. ABC News reported on Tuesday night that Israeli officials are reportedly also investigating the possibility that shrapnel from the airstrike hit a fuel tank, causing the fire.

“Our munition alone could not have ignited a fire of this size. I want to repeat it — our munition alone could not have ignited a fire of this size,” Hagari insisted on Tuesday.

Follow Frances Martel on Facebook and Twitter.

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