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No respite in Gaza, Israel and the West Bank, France proposes a ceasefire to the UN

2021-05-21T22:32:28.657Z

The French text, proposed in coordination with Egypt and Jordan, calls for a “cessation of hostilities” and would ask “to grant humanitarian access to people who need it”.



Clashes between Israel and Palestinian Hamas continued on the night of Tuesday 18 to Wednesday 19 May, as France proposed to the UN Security Council a resolution to establish a ceasefire.

Israeli airplanes continued to strike Gaza overnight, according to an AFP correspondent there.

In the Palestinian enclave, low-flying planes kept many residents awake.

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"

We are all terrified by the sound of explosions, missiles and planes,

" said Randa Abou Sultan, 45, a mother of seven who spent the night huddled in one room with her family.

"

My four year old son says he is afraid, if he falls asleep, that we will all be found dead when he wakes up

."

On Tuesday evening, an AFP photographer reported seeing trails of light across the sky as the Israeli missile defense system intercepted rockets fired from the Gaza Strip.

The IDF says it has targeted what it calls "

the subway

" - underground tunnels that Israel claims allow the Islamist movement to circulate its ammunition - as well as the homes of Hamas commanders, saying some were used to "

store it. weapons

”.

At least 217 Palestinians, including 63 children, have been killed in Israeli raids since May 10, according to the Gaza health ministry.

At the same time, 12 Israelis were killed by Palestinian rocket fire, according to Israeli police.

Separately, according to Palestinian authorities, Israeli forces have killed 24 Palestinians in the West Bank since May 10.

French resolution coordinated with Egypt and Jordan

The United Nations Security Council, blocked for eight days by Washington on the adoption of a simple declaration on the conflict, according to diplomatic sources, again separated Tuesday evening without agreement.

But France has announced that it has presented a resolution calling for a ceasefire, in coordination with Egypt and Jordan.

Tuesday evening, several member countries of the Security Council told AFP that they had not yet received the French text, which would be "

short and simple

", according to a diplomatic source.

In addition to a call for a "

cessation of hostilities

", he would ask "

to grant humanitarian access to people who need it,

" said another diplomat on condition of anonymity.

During a closed-door meeting, "

we heard the proposal made by our French colleague in the Council and, for China, we certainly support all efforts facilitating an end to the crisis and a return to peace in the Middle East.

Chinese ambassador to the UN, Zhang Jun, president-in-office of the Council in May, told a few reporters.

The Chinese ambassador clarified that the last text of the declaration proposed by his country, Norway and Tunisia, rejected again Monday by the United States, remained on the table of the Security Council.

In addition to China's explicit support for France's draft resolution, Russia is also inclined to adopt the text, Russian Deputy Ambassador to the UN, Dmitry Polyanskiy, told AFP.

Another mediation is also underway, via the UN, assisted by Qatar and Egypt.

US President Joe Biden first expressed support for a "

ceasefire

" in a telephone interview Monday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

"

We will continue for as long as it takes to restore peace to the citizens of Israel,

" Netanyahu insisted, however.

Security and humanitarian crisis

In nine days, 3,700 rockets were fired of which around 90% were intercepted by the Israeli air defense system, according to the military.

Added to the security crisis is the risk of a humanitarian crisis, with 72,000 Palestinians displaced and 2,500 people losing their homes in the bombings, according to the UN.

Hamas, in power in Gaza since 2007, threatened to fire more rockets at Tel Aviv if the Israeli air force "did not stop

targeting civilians

", while its missiles targeted dozens of southern Israel.

The conflict erupted after a Hamas rocket barrage was fired at Israel in solidarity with the hundreds of Palestinian protesters injured in clashes with Israeli police on the Mosque Plaza in East Jerusalem.

At the origin of the violence, the threat of eviction of Palestinian families for the benefit of Israeli settlers in this Palestinian sector occupied by Israel for more than 50 years.

The last major confrontation between Israel and Hamas was in the summer of 2014. The 51-day conflict had ravaged the Gaza Strip and left at least 2,251 dead on the Palestinian side, mostly civilians, and 74 on the Israeli side, almost all of them. soldiers.

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2021-05-21

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