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France’s UNSC Resolution Suggests Cease-fire, Palestinian UN Membership

April 2, 2024

by: Charles Wagenheim ~ JNS

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The UNSC adopts Resolution 2728, demanding an immediate cease-fire to Israel’s war with Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Tuesday, 2 April 2024 | France is circulating a draft resolution at the UN Security Council [UNSC] that calls for an immediate cease-fire, with no end date, in the Israel–Hamas war, while demanding the release of all remaining hostages in Gaza.

Notably, the resolution condemns Hamas by name for its October 7 invasion of Israel and condemns the sexual violence it and other terror groups employed during the massacre.

Israel has railed for months against the UNSC and the UN for failing to explicitly condemn Hamas or acknowledge the evidence of sexual violence committed on October 7.

The draft resolution also calls for the reassertion of Palestinian Authority [PA] governance in Gaza, along with the achievement of a negotiated Israeli–Palestinian political solution “urgently through decisive and irreversible measures,” leading to a two-state solution.

While not in the operative portion of the draft, the preambular section notes that 139 UN member states have recognized a Palestinian state, and expresses the “intent” of the council “to welcome the State of Palestine as a full member of the United Nations.”

The PA in recent weeks announced a renewed push for statehood recognition at the UN. A ministerial-level meeting on the Israeli–Palestinian file is set to take place at the Security Council on April 18, which, according to multiple JNS sources, appears to be the PA’s target date for a full membership vote.

The Palestinians currently hold UN non-member observer status.

“The ongoing crisis has shown that a negotiated solution should be achieved urgently through decisive and irreversible measures toward a two-state solution,” Nicolas de Riviere, France’s UN ambassador, told reporters on Monday. “France believes that it’s now high time to adopt a comprehensive approach in order to end the ongoing crisis in Gaza, allow de-escalation in the region and to ensure that no October 7 can ever happen again.”

The Israeli mission to the UN told JNS that discussions on France’s proposal only began in earnest on Monday afternoon during closed consultations at the UNSC, and that it knows of no timeline for a vote on it.

On March 25, the US abstained from a draft resolution demanding an immediate cease-fire during Ramadan. The draft demanded the release of the hostages in the same paragraph but did not link the two demands. Neither Israel nor Hamas has abided by the terms.

The Israeli government read it as a change in US policy, as Washington had previously vetoed several resolutions that demanded Israel halt its counteroffensive against Hamas in Gaza. The abstention, which allowed the resolution to pass, led to the cancellation by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of a high-level delegation to Washington to discuss Israel’s upcoming operation in the southern Gazan city of Rafah to root out Hamas from its last stronghold in the enclave.

In the ensuing days, Netanyahu softened his language regarding the incident. On Monday, a virtual delegation discussion took place. The White House said on Monday that it anticipates in-person meetings on the topic next week.

France’s draft resolution appears to be an attempt to thread the needle within the council by, on the one hand, calling for the cease-fire that most all council members are demanding while, on the other, trying to bring the US on board via condemning Hamas.

However, the preambular mention of Palestinian statehood, along with the operative section’s effective call for a permanent cease-fire may be too much for Washington, given the congressional blowback it is likely to cause and the wide-ranging implications it could have in the relationship between Washington and Jerusalem.

Gilad Erdan, Israel’s UN ambassador, said last week ahead of the draft resolution’s introduction that France’s general proposal “plays into Hamas’s hands and rewards terrorism,” following signals from French diplomats about the resolution’s purpose and aims.

The resolution “breaks all the principles of negotiations and advances unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state,” he said, adding that Israel will “strongly oppose this terrible proposal.”

Posted on April 2, 2024

Source: (This article was originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on April 2, 2024. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Loey Felipe/UN Photo/