8.6 C
New York
Sunday, April 14, 2024

Blinken: U.S. has submitted resolution calling for immediate Gaza cease-fire to U.N.

Displaced Palestinians inspect the damage to their tents following overnight Israeli bombardment at the Rafah refugee camp in the southern Gaza Strip, on Tuesday, March 19, 2024. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the U.S. has submitted a Gaza ceasefire resolution to the United Nations. Photo by Ismael Mohamad/UPI.

1 of 3 | Displaced Palestinians inspect the damage to their tents following overnight Israeli bombardment at the Rafah refugee camp in the southern Gaza Strip, on Tuesday, March 19, 2024. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the U.S. has submitted a Gaza ceasefire resolution to the United Nations. Photo by Ismael Mohamad/UPI. | License Photo

March 21 (UPI) — The United States has submitted a draft resolution calling for an immediate cease-fire in Gaza, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said.

Speaking in an interview with Saudi news channel Al Hadath Wednesday, Blinken said the call for a pause in fighting is tied to the release of hostages held by Hamas.

“We actually have a resolution that we put forward right now that’s before the United Nations Security Council that does call for an immediate cease-fire tied to the release of hostages, and we hope very much that countries will support that,” he said. “I think that would send a strong message, a strong signal.”

Blinken said the United States is working closely with Qatar and Egypt to mediate a cease-fire agreement in a reversal from past U.S. stances on the matter.

In February the United States was the only country to vote against a Gaza cease-fire resolution at the United Nations led by Algeria and supported by the other members of the Security Council, with Britain abstaining.

Hamas temporarily withdrew from cease-fire negotiations in Cairo earlier this month after saying it would only agree to hand over Israeli hostages in exchange for a permanent stop to the fighting.

Blinken said Wednesday that he thinks, however, that the “gaps are narrowing” between the two sides.

“I think an agreement is very much possible,” Blinken said. “We worked very hard with Qatar, with Egypt, and with Israel to put a strong proposal on the table. We did that; Hamas wouldn’t accept it. They came back with other requests, other demands. The negotiators are working on that right now. But I believe it’s very much doable, and it’s very much necessary.”

The State Department said March 7 that a cease-fire in Gaza is in the interests of both Israel and the Palestinian people.

“A deal is in the interest of Israel, it’s in the interest of the Palestinian people and it’s in the interest of the broader region,” State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said at a Washington press briefing. “So we’re going to continue to push for one.”

Blinken added that the United States stands with Israel and its right to defend itself, “to make sure that Oct. 7 never happens again,” while also preventing loss of civilian life in Gaza.

“It’s imperative that the civilians who are in harm’s way and who are suffering so terribly — that we focus on them, that we make them a priority, protecting the civilians, getting them humanitarian assistance,” he said.

Blinken said it was “imperative” that Israel make getting aid to civilians in Gaza a priority, as the United States is working with other nations on a maritime corridor to provide large amounts of aid as many ground shipments have been stopped by Israeli forces.

World Central Kitchen, a U.S. nonprofit, announced a shipment of 200 tons of food to Gaza by sea Tuesday as the United Nations food security agency warned of mass starvation in Gaza.

Blinken said that the maritime corridor is vital to delivering assistance to people in Gaza.

“What’s so important is to get as much assistance into Gaza by as many means as possible,” Blinken said. ” So yes, the maritime corridor, and actually, we’ve already seen ships start to bring assistance to Gaza on the sea. But we want to make sure that there’s a pier, a port that can accommodate as much assistance as possible, and we’re in the process of building that.”

Source link

Related Articles

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Stay Connected

0FansLike
0FollowersFollow
0SubscribersSubscribe
- Advertisement -spot_img

Latest Articles