Israel-Gaza war live: US submits draft resolution calling for ‘immediate ceasefire’

US submits draft UN resolution calling for ‘immediate ceasefire’ in Gaza
The US has submitted a draft resolution to the UN Security Council calling for an “immediate ceasefire linked to the release of hostages” in the Gaza Strip, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said.

“Well, in fact, 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 ceasefire tied to the release of hostages, and we hope very much that countries will support that,” he told Saudi media outlet Al Hadath on Wednesday, during a visit to the Saudi Arabia to discuss the Israel-Gaza war.

“I think that would send a strong message, a strong signal. But, of course, we stand with Israel and its right to defend itself, to make sure that October 7th never happens again, but at the same time, 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 added.

The US has vetoed three draft resolutions during more than five months of war, two which would have demanded an immediate ceasefire.

Most recently, the US justified its veto by saying such action could jeopardise efforts by the US, Egypt and Qatar to broker a pause in the war and release of hostages.

The US traditionally shields Israel at the UN, but it has also abstained twice, allowing the council to adopt resolutions that aimed to boost aid to Gaza and pause fighting.

It has wanted any Security Council support for a ceasefire to be linked to the release of hostages held by Hamas in Gaza. Hamas attacked Israel on October 7, killing about 1,200 people and taking about 240 hostages, according to Israeli tallies.
Palestinian refugees in Lebanon face difficult Ramadan

A refugee passes a Palestinian flag painted on the wall at the Mar Elias camp in Beirut. EPA
Nada Maucourant Atallah reports:
“We dubbed it the fake kabseh,” says Mariam with a smile, as she stirs a pot of aromatic vegetables in her home in Tyre, southern Lebanon. The young mother of three is busy preparing the dish for iftar.The main ingredient of kabseh, a Middle Eastern dish made of spiced rice, is chicken.

But, here in Maachouk, an impoverished neighbourhood of Tyre which has long been home to Palestinian refugee families, residents such as Mariam have been forced to find alternatives to meat.

Mariam has also now mastered chicken Maggi cube-flavoured maklouba, the traditional Palestinian dish usually made with layers of roasted vegetables, meat and seasoned rice.

“Meat has become too expensive, we had to adapt traditional recipes,” she said.
Two killed in Israeli air strike in West Bank
Two Palestinians, who the Israeli military said posed a “threat” to its soldiers, were killed in an air strike in the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian Authority said early Thursday.

Israel’s military said shortly after midnight that it was carrying out an operation in the Palestinian refugee camp of Nur Shams, which adjoins the town of Tulkarm in the northwest of the West Bank.

“During the operation, an aircraft struck two terrorists who posed an immediate threat to the forces,” the Israeli army said in a brief message.

The Palestinian Authority’s health ministry also said two people had been killed by Israeli fire in the Nur Shams camp and that their bodies had been transferred to a hospital in Tulkarm.

Violence has intensified in the West Bank, occupied by Israel since 1967, since the start of the war in Gaza that was triggered by the unprecedented Hamas attacks on Israel on October 7.

According to the Palestinian Authority, at least 430 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli soldiers or settlers in the West Bank since the war began and thousands more have been arrested.

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