The US draft resolution, which is eyeing a potential Israel-Hamas truce agreement in Qatar, does not specifically call for a ceasefire right away.

According to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, currently touring the Middle East, the United States has distributed a draft resolution to the United Nations Security Council, urging for an “immediate ceasefire linked to the release of hostages” in Gaza. Israel’s primary political and military supporter has consistently vetoed previous UNSC attempts to conclude the nearly six-month-long conflict, objecting as recently as February to the term “immediate” in a draft presented by Algeria.

In recent weeks, there has been increased pressure on Israel, with the insistence that Hamas fighters must promptly release the captives seized during the October 7 attacks on Israel.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated in Saudi Arabia, “We have put forward a resolution before the United Nations Security Council that calls for an immediate ceasefire linked to the release of hostages, and we hope that countries will support it. I believe this would send a strong message, a strong signal.”

 However, we must prioritize the civilians caught in harm’s way, suffering greatly. Our focus should be on protecting them and providing humanitarian assistance.” stated Blinken.

Al Jazeera obtained a copy of the new draft resolution, which states: “The Security Council recognizes the urgent need for an immediate and lasting ceasefire to safeguard civilians on all fronts, facilitate the distribution of vital humanitarian aid, and mitigate humanitarian crises. To this end, it unequivocally backs ongoing international diplomatic endeavors aimed at achieving such a ceasefire, contingent upon the release of all remaining hostages.” Al Jazeera’s Diplomatic Editor James Bays described the development as “significant,” but emphasized the importance of the resolution’s precise wording, suggesting that the actual demands made by the US remained unclear.

This information comes from US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who is currently touring the Middle East.

I believe that would convey a powerful message,” he conveyed to Saudi media outlet Al Hadath on Wednesday. “While we unequivocally support Israel’s right to self-defense, it’s equally crucial that we prioritize the safety and well-being of civilians caught in the crossfire,” Blinken emphasized.

A copy of the new draft resolution, acquired by Al Jazeera, underscores the necessity of an immediate and lasting ceasefire to safeguard civilians, enable essential humanitarian aid delivery, and alleviate humanitarian crises.

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Al Jazeera’s Diplomatic Editor, James Bay, expressed that while the development appears significant, the precise wording of the resolution is pivotal. He added that the actual demands put forth by the US remain ambiguous. Bays questioned whether the language used aligns with what other members of the Security Council desire regarding an immediate ceasefire or if it merely emphasizes the importance of such action.

As of now, no vote has been scheduled for this text. In February, the US was the sole country to vote against the draft, marking its third veto on the matter, while the United Kingdom abstained. To adopt a resolution in the UNSC, it necessitates at least nine affirmative votes and no veto from any of the five permanent members: the US, UK, France, Russia, or China.

Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the US ambassador to the UN, explained that her country vetoed the resolution due to concerns that it could undermine ongoing negotiations involving the US, Egypt, Israel, and Qatar. These negotiations aim to facilitate a temporary halt in the conflict and secure the release of captives held in Gaza.

Concurrently, discussions for a ceasefire agreement are ongoing in Qatar this week, following unsuccessful attempts to reach an agreement before the commencement of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. However, Qatari Foreign Ministry spokesperson Majed al-Ansari cautioned that any Israeli ground operation in Rafah, southern Gaza, would hinder progress in these discussions.

Bays also noted that there are multiple draft resolutions in circulation. He pointed out that previous resolutions vetoed by the US have explicitly demanded a ceasefire, whereas the current one uses the phrase “determines the imperative,” indicating the importance of a ceasefire without outright demanding it.

However, we require further clarification on this timing.”

This marks Blinken’s sixth tour to the Middle East since the conflict between Israel and Gaza began. He has already held meetings with Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Saudi Arabia. On Thursday, he is scheduled to meet with foreign ministers from Egypt.


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