U.S. Resolution Would Call for ‘Immediate and Sustained Cease-Fire’

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken, traveling in the Middle East on Thursday, pressed for a halt to fighting in the Gaza Strip as the United States prepared to introduce a resolution at the United Nations on Friday calling for “an immediate and sustained cease-fire.”

The Security Council resolution drafted by the United States contains the strongest language that Washington has supported so far, and was an apparent shift for Israel’s closest ally. In February, the United States vetoed a Council resolution demanding an immediate humanitarian cease-fire.

The new resolution also condemns the Hamas-led attacks on Israel of Oct. 7 that set off the war and the hostage-taking that day, and expresses support for the negotiations to free those still being held in Gaza.

When the United States vetoed the earlier resolution, American officials said they had done so because they were concerned that it could disrupt hostage negotiations. But Biden administration officials have grown more outspoken in recent weeks in their push for a cease-fire, as experts have warned of imminent famine in Gaza and pressure grows for stronger international action.

The resolution being circulated by U.S. diplomats and obtained by The New York Times on Thursday said that the Council determines the imperative of an immediate and sustained cease-fire to protect civilians on all sides, allow for the delivery of essential humanitarian assistance, and alleviate humanitarian suffering, and towards that end unequivocally supports ongoing international diplomatic efforts to secure such a cease-fire in connection with the release of all remaining hostages.”

The resolution also notes the “deep concern about the threat of conflict-induced famine and epidemics.”

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