A new ceasefire proposal is circulating at the UN, fueled by outrage over Israel’s attack on a tent camp.

Seeking to tap into outrage over an Israeli attack on Sunday that burned down a camp and killed at least 45 displaced Palestinians, including children, many diplomats on the United Nations Security Council this week backed a new resolution that would call for an immediate ceasefire. . and the cessation of Israel’s military operations in the city of Rafah.

But they will have to overcome objections from the United States, which has veto power in the Council and has signaled that it will not support the resolution in its current form.

Algeria, the only Arab representative in the current composition of the Security Council, drafted and distributed the one-page resolution that says that “Israel, the occupying Power, will immediately stop its military offensive and any further action in Rafah.” It calls for “an immediate ceasefire respected by all parties, and also demands the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages.”

The Council held back-to-back meetings on the war in Gaza on Tuesday and Wednesday, first a closed-door emergency session on the Rafah camp attack and then a scheduled monthly open meeting on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Algeria’s resolution was expected to be put to a vote in the coming days.

“The human cost is evident and atrocious,” Algeria’s ambassador, Amar Bendjama, told the Council on Wednesday. “These crimes speak for themselves.”

A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly, said the United States would block the current version of the resolution, which it considers unbalanced and problematic. He said the United States had proposed several revisions.

In particular, the official said, the United States does not want to support a resolution calling on Israel to completely stop its military offensive in Rafah, which Israeli commanders maintain remains a stronghold of the armed group Hamas. The Biden administration supports limited Israeli operations there.

As one of the five permanent members of the Council, the United States has veto power and has exercised it against three previous ceasefire resolutions since the war began in October. In March, the United States allowed a resolution calling for a humanitarian ceasefire during the month of Ramadan to pass by abstaining from the vote.

In recent weeks, as the number of civilian casualties in Gaza has risen, US officials have become more openly critical of Israel’s conduct of the war. At least 36,000 people have been killed in Israeli shelling and ground operations, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry, which does not differentiate between combatants and civilians in its count. Health officials have said most of those killed are women, children and other non-combatants.

Gaza authorities say at least 45 people were killed in Sunday’s attack and its intense aftermath when a fire swept through the Kuwait al-Salaam camp, where displaced people were living in tents. Among the victims was a young boy whose burned and decapitated body was shown in a video verified by The New York Times.

“The continued pattern of significant civilian damage resulting from incidents such as Sunday’s airstrikes undermines Israel’s strategic objectives in Gaza,” Robert A. Wood, deputy US ambassador to the United Nations, told the Council on Wednesday. Wood added that Israel had the right to defend itself but also had “obligations to protect civilians.”

On Tuesday, senior Biden administration officials expressed horror at Sunday’s attack, but said it was not part of a major ground operation and therefore did not cross President Biden’s red line to withhold arms shipments to Israel. .

The Algerian resolution also cites an emergency ruling last Friday by the United Nations’ highest court, the International Court of Justice in The Hague. The ruling ordered Israel to immediately halt its military operation in Rafah, although Israeli officials have argued that its wording leaves some room for interpretation. The ruling followed arguments from South Africa, which late last year brought a case accusing Israel of genocide to court.

Several Security Council diplomats said they hoped to vote soon on the resolution to build on the momentum and outrage generated by Sunday night’s attack and prevent, if possible, harm to more civilians in Gaza. Protracted negotiations to appease the United States, diplomats said, would send the wrong signal about the Council’s determination to take action.

“This Council must express itself urgently on the situation in Rafah and demand an end to this offensive,” said French ambassador Nicolas de Rivière.

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