Algeria proposes UN resolution demanding Israel halt offensive in Rafah

29 May 2024, 02:24

APTOPIX Israel Palestinians
APTOPIX Israel Palestinians. Picture: PA

The country’s ambassador has called an emergency meeting of the Security Council to demand an immediate ceasefire.

Algeria’s United Nations ambassador has called an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council in an attempt to “stop the killing in Rafah”.

Amar Bendjama’s urgent motion demands an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and halt to Israel’s military offensive in the southern city of Rafah.

Mr Bendjama, the Arab representative on the Security Council, told reporters after emergency closed council consultations on Tuesday that he would send the draft to the 15-member council later in the evening.

“It is a short text, a decisive text, to stop the killing in Rafah,” he said.

APTOPIX Israel Palestinians
Palestinians look at the destruction after an Israeli strike where displaced people were staying in Rafah, Gaza Strip (Jehad Alshrafi/AP)

The resolution would demand that Israel “immediately halt its military offensive, and any other action in Rafah”.

It also calls for the immediate release of all hostages taken during Hamas’ attack in southern Israel on October 7.

The draft condemns what it calls “the indiscriminate targeting of civilians, including women and children, and civilian infrastructure” and reiterates the council’s demand for all parties to comply with international law requiring the protection of civilians.

Algeria called the emergency Security Council meeting as Israel pushed ahead with its military operation in Rafah and as fighting escalated in the border city where more than a million Palestinians had sought refuge.

It followed Sunday night’s Israeli airstrikes that triggered a fire engulfing tents in a camp for displaced Palestinians west of Rafah, killing 45 people and injuring more than 100 others.

Some diplomats said they hope for a quick vote, even as early as Wednesday.

China’s UN Ambassador Fu Cong told reporters: “It is our hope that it can be done as quickly as possible because life is in the balance.”

US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield said: “We’re waiting to see it, and then we’ll react to it.”

The United States has vetoed multiple resolutions demanding a ceasefire in Gaza.

The International Criminal Court is currently seeking approval for an arrest warrant against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and others, including leaders of the Hamas militant group, concerning possible war crimes.

By Press Association

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