Gaza Ceasefire

US and EU Increase Pressure on Israel for Gaza Ceasefire; UN to Vote

The European Union and the United States are exerting more pressure on Israel to stop its ongoing bombardment of Palestinian territory by pushing for a ceasefire in Gaza. A US-drafted resolution for an immediate ceasefire is scheduled for a vote by the UN Security Council soon.

The necessity of protecting people and enabling the delivery of humanitarian supplies is emphasized in the proposed resolution. Additionally, it connects the cease-fire to the release of prisoners that Hamas had taken during an earlier assault on Israel. This is a major change from Washington’s previous position, which avoided outright demanding a ceasefire and even vetoed resolutions that were similar in the past.

Meanwhile, Leaders of the European Union gathered in Brussels have also demanded a humanitarian halt that leads to a long-lasting truce. They threaten to worsen humanitarian conditions if Israel proceeds with a big ground offensive in Rafah and implore it to do otherwise.

In Qatar, diplomatic attempts are in progress, facilitated by Egypt, Qatar, and the United States. The goal of negotiations is to establish a short-term ceasefire that will allow both sides to free their prisoners. Although acknowledging the obstacles still to be overcome, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken maintained hope about reaching a deal.

Despite the difficulties, negotiators are optimistic about a breakthrough in the current round of talks since Israel only wants a temporary cessation of hostilities, while Hamas insists on tying detainee releases to a continuing truce.

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