Algerian Ambassador to the United Nations Amar Bendjama (R), votes to approve a resolution concerning a ceasefire in Gaza while Linda Thomas-Greenfield, United States Ambassador to the UN (L), looks on during a Security Council meeting at United Nations headquarters, February 20, 2024. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

US revises Gaza Security Council draft to reflect Harris comments on ‘catastrophe’

Washington now calling for ‘an immediate ceasefire of roughly six-weeks in Gaza together with the release of all hostages,’ after previously vetoing three other resolutions

By REUTERS and TOI STAFF |

UNITED NATIONS — The United States on Tuesday revised language in a draft United Nations Security Council resolution to back “an immediate ceasefire of roughly six-weeks in Gaza together with the release of all hostages,” according to the text seen by Reuters.

The third revision of the text — first proposed by the US two weeks ago — now reflects blunt remarks made by US Vice President Kamala Harris on Sunday. The initial US draft had shown support for “a temporary ceasefire” in the Israel-Hamas war.

The US wants any Security Council support for a ceasefire to be linked to the release of hostages abducted by Hamas to Gaza on October 7, when thousands of gunmen led by the Palestinian terror group stormed southern Israel to kill nearly 1,200 people, mainly civilians, and kidnap another 253.

Washington had been averse to the word “ceasefire.” It has vetoed three draft council resolutions — two of which would have demanded an immediate ceasefire — during the five-month-long war. Most recently, the US noted that such council action could jeopardize efforts by the US, Egypt and Qatar to broker a pause in the war and the release of hostages.

US President Joe Biden said on Tuesday it was in the hands of Hamas whether to accept a deal for a ceasefire, as delegations held a third day of talks in Cairo with no sign of a breakthrough.

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