US seeks UN vote on permanent Israel-Hamas ceasefire as Blinken urges Arab support

Map and Flags. Israel-Palestine conflict. Mapping the conflict in Israel and Palestine and Gaza. Israel Hamas War conflict in maps and Israeli Flag and Palestinian flag

The United States on Sunday called for a vote on its UN Security Council (UNSC) resolution that proposes a permanent ceasefire and release of the hostages in Gaza. “Israel has accepted this proposal and the Security Council has an opportunity to speak with one voice and call on Hamas to do the same,” Nate Evans, the spokesperson for the US Mission to the United Nations, said in a statement.

“Doing so would help save lives and the suffering of civilians in Gaza as well as the hostages and their families,” he said, adding that council members should not let this opportunity “pass by.” The timing of the vote is not immediately clear. The draft resolution, a copy of which was obtained by CNN last week, outlines three phases to end the hostilities.

Meanwhile, Secretary of State Antony Blinken is in Egypt and Israel today, to push forward efforts to negotiate a cease-fire in the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. He met Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in Cairo before traveling to Israel to meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant. “My message to governments throughout the region,” he told reporters in Cairo, “is if you want a ceasefire, press Hamas to say yes.”

Negotiators from the US, Qatar, and Egypt have been working to craft an agreement between Israel and Hamas that would see an end to the war that has killed tens of thousands of Palestinians.

On Saturday Israel’s forces, backed by air strikes, fought intense gun battles with Hamas in and around the Nuseirat refugee camp, freeing the captives. Noa Argamani, 26, Almog Meir Jan, 22, Andrei Kozlov, 27, and Shlomi Ziv, 41, who were abducted from the Nova music festival on 7 October have been returned to Israel. The Israeli military has estimated that fewer than 100 people died in the operation. The Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza says an Israeli raid on a refugee camp – which led to the rescue of the hostages – killed 274 people, including children and other civilians.

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