U.S. pushes UN resolution for temporary Gaza ceasefire and halt to Rafah offensive

Washington’s decision to propose the resolution follows its indication that it would veto an Algerian-drafted resolution due to concerns that it might undermine ongoing negotiations aimed at securing a temporary halt to the conflict.

The U.S. has introduced an alternative draft resolution to the UN Security Council, which calls for a temporary ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas conflict and opposes a significant ground offensive by Israel in Rafah. This move follows the U.S.’s indication that it would veto an Algerian-drafted resolution demanding an immediate humanitarian ceasefire. The U.S. expressed concerns that the Algerian resolution could disrupt ongoing talks involving the US, Egypt, Israel, and Qatar, aimed at securing a pause in the conflict and the release of hostages held by Hamas.


A senior U.S. administration official, speaking anonymously, stated on Monday that there are no immediate plans to rush their draft resolution to a vote. They emphasized that they do not view a hurried vote as necessary or beneficial and intend to allow time for negotiations.

According to the official, for a resolution to be adopted, it must receive at least nine affirmative votes and not be vetoed by any of the permanent members of the Security Council, namely the U.S., France, Britain, Russia, or China.

The U.S. draft resolution concludes that, given the current circumstances, a significant ground offensive into Rafah would likely result in further harm to civilians and their potential displacement, possibly extending into neighboring countries. Israel’s intention to conduct a military operation in Rafah, where a significant portion of Gaza’s population has sought refuge, has raised international concerns about exacerbating the already dire humanitarian situation in the region. The United Nations has issued warnings that such a move could result in a catastrophic loss of life.

The U.S.-proposed draft resolution emphasizes that a major ground offensive in Rafah would have grave consequences for regional stability and underscores that such action should not proceed given the current circumstances. While historically, the U.S. has shielded Israel from UN action and vetoed resolutions following attacks by Hamas militants, it has also abstained from voting on occasions, allowing the adoption of resolutions aimed at providing aid to Gaza and calling for ceasefires.

According to a second senior U.S. administration official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, the proposed U.S. draft resolution does not imply any specific dynamics in relationships, whether with Israel or any other partners.
The draft resolution condemns calls made by certain Israeli government ministers for Jewish settlers to relocate to Gaza and opposes any efforts aimed at demographic or territorial alterations in Gaza that would violate international law.

Furthermore, the resolution rejects any actions by any party that would diminish the territorial extent of Gaza, either temporarily or permanently. This includes the establishment, whether officially or unofficially, of so-called buffer zones, as well as the systematic demolition of civilian infrastructure.
The war erupted when fighters affiliated with the Hamas militant group attacked Israel on October 7, 2023, resulting in the deaths of 1,200 individuals and the capture of 253 hostages, as reported by Israeli sources. In response, Israel initiated a military campaign in Gaza, with health authorities estimating that nearly 29,000 Palestinians have been killed, and thousands more are feared dead amidst the devastation.

In the previous December, more than three-quarters of the 193-member UN General Assembly supported a resolution calling for an urgent humanitarian ceasefire. While resolutions passed by the General Assembly are not legally binding, they carry significant political weight, representing a global stance on the conflict.