Live blog: US circulates revised Gaza truce draft at UN but Israel objects

The United States has circulated the revised draft of a UN Security Council resolution aimed at bringing about a ceasefire in Gaza, but Israel privately objected to its close ally’s latest attempt to stop the genocidal war.

The draft, obtained by the Associated Press, says the Security Council “welcomes the new ceasefire proposal announced on May 31, which is acceptable to Israel … (and) calls upon Hamas to also accept it.”

But an Israeli official told the AP news agency that the language overlooks Israel’s stated aim of destroying Hamas. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the discussion.

Israel has been reluctant to signing the US-sponsored document that specifically stipulates a ceasefire. Israel also objects to proposed language that “rejects any attempt at demographic or territorial change in the Gaza Strip.”

That includes “actions that reduce the territory of Gaza, such as through the permanent establishment officially or unofficially of so-called buffer zones,” which Israel has already said it plans.

Earlier, Russia, China, Algeria raised doubts about Israel’s agreement to US’ truce plan that Biden claims Netanyahu has already accepted.

Israel kills Nuseirat mayor

Israel has killed five people, including the mayor of Nuseirat city, Eyad Al Maghari, along with some of his family members in its strikes on central besieged Gaza, reports said.

Israel also killed one Palestinian and wounded several others in its bombardment in Sabra neighbourhood.

It comes after Israel killed at least 40 Palestinians and wounded 73 in an attack on a UN school in Nuseirat city.

Russia, China wrangle with US over UN resolution on Gaza ceasefire plan

Russia and China, which hold veto powers along with the US, France and Britain in the UN Security Council, raised concerns with a US draft resolution that would back a proposal — outlined by President Joe Biden — for a ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian resistance group Hamas.

The council’s only Arab member, Algeria, also signalled it was not ready to back the text, diplomats said.

A resolution needs at least nine votes in favour and no vetoes by the five members holding veto power to pass.

The current draft welcomes the ceasefire proposal, describes it as “acceptable” to Israel, “calls upon Hamas to also accept it, and urges both parties to fully implement its terms without delay and without condition.”

But some council members have raised questions about whether Israel has actually accepted the plan and want the council to stick to a demand made in March for an immediate ceasefire and unconditional release of all hostages, diplomats said.

Russia proposed amendments to the US text, which were seen by the Reuters news agency, that included calling upon both Hamas and Israel to accept the proposal and demanding an immediate, unconditional and permanent ceasefire respected by all parties.

Moscow also wants the draft to stress that the phase one ceasefire will remain in place as long as negotiations continue on phase two, reflecting remarks made by Biden last week.

Warmonger Netanyahu to address US Congress on July 24

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is set to address a joint meeting of Congress on July 24, according to two people familiar with the matter.

Congressional leaders last week formally invited Netanyahu to come speak, delivering the most recent show of wartime support for the longtime ally despite mounting political divisions over Israel’s genocide in Gaza.

House Speaker Mike Johnson, a Republican, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat, along with Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell and House Democratic leader Hakeem Jeffries, signed the letter extending the invitation to Netanyahu.

They said the offer was intended to “highlight America’s solidarity with Israel.”

Netanyahu’s appearance before a growingly divided Congress is sure to be contentious and met with plenty of protests both inside the Capitol from lawmakers and outside by pro-Palestinian protesters.

Democratic lawmakers most critical of Netanyahu’s strategy are expected to be no-shows for the address. Senator Bernie Sanders, the independent from Vermont, said: “Netanyahu is a war criminal. I certainly will not attend.”

Israel opposes US draft resolution at UNSC on Gaza truce

Israel has opposed an updated US-drafted resolution presented to the UN Security Council on a proposed prisoner exchange and ceasefire deal in besieged Gaza that was recently outlined by President Joe Biden.

American media outlets reported that Washington presented to the Security Council on Thursday a revised version that was introduced on Monday.

The official Israeli broadcaster, KAN, said Israeli UN Ambassador Gilad Erdan informed his American counterpart, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, of Israel’s opposition to the draft resolution.

It reported that the latest version indicates a shift in the US stance toward Israel.

The revised version calls for Hamas resistance group and Israel to implement the proposal without delay or conditions, said the report.

In contrast, the earlier draft solely urged Hamas to accept the proposal. Furthermore, the updated resolution asserts that the US rejects any attempt at demographic or territorial change in Gaza, as per the broadcaster’s report.

Hamas, on the other hand, indicated a willingness to “positively” engage with the proposal while noting that it is not “new,” as Biden suggested.

2051 GMT — Drone hits shopping centre in northern Israel: report

A drone fired from southern Lebanon has reportedly struck a shopping centre in the northern Israeli city of Kiryat Shmona.

The drone hit the shopping centre, leading to material damage, but no casualties were reported as of 10:10 pm Tel Aviv time, Yedioth Ahronoth reported.

The report also said that sirens were activated in the city and surrounding areas.



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