NEW YORK CITY: The US on Saturday submitted to the UN Security Council a draft resolution condemning Hamas and asserting Israel’s “right to self-defense,” two days after Washington vetoed a Brazilian resolution demanding a humanitarian ceasefire to allow aid into Gaza. 

This comes as the UN is issuing a plea for a humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza, describing the situation there as “catastrophic.” 

UN agencies have said the 20 trucks that entered the Gaza Strip on Saturday through Rafah for the first time in two weeks were only a “drop in the ocean” for the 1.2 million Palestinians who already before the war relied on aid to survive in the enclave, which has been under Israeli siege for nearly 16 years. 

More than 4,300 Palestinians have died since Israel began bombing Gaza in retaliation for the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israeli towns that killed 1,400 Israelis. 

The resolution, seen by Arab News, “unequivocally rejects and condemns the (Oct. 7) heinous terrorist attacks by Hamas and other terrorist groups” on Israeli towns as well as the “taking and killing of hostages, murder, torture, rape, sexual violence, and indiscriminate firing of rockets.” In it, the US accuses Hamas of intending to carry out further attacks. 

“Israel’s inherent right of individual or collective self-defense (is) reflected in Article 51 of the Charter,” the draft resolution states. Without naming Israel, it adds that in fighting terrorism, “member states must comply with all their obligations under international law, in particular international human rights, refugee and international humanitarian law.” 

Amnesty International has described Israel’s retaliatory strikes on the Gaza Strip as “cataclysmic,” saying it has documented “unlawful Israeli attacks, including indiscriminate attacks,” which caused mass civilian casualties and must be investigated as war crimes. 

The US circulated the draft resolution on Saturday and requested council members to submit their comments on Sunday morning. 

Without naming the Palestinian civilians, the US text calls for the protection of the civilian population, including those “who are trying to get to safety,” and condemns “barbaric acts of destruction carried out by Hamas, including its deplored use of civilians as human shields and its attempt to thwart the protection of civilians.” It also calls on Hamas to release the hostages. 

The resolution also calls for the “continuous” flow of essential goods into Gaza while urging countries to support the humanitarian “efforts of the United Nations, Egypt, Jordan, and others to build on this important first step.” 

The US draft calls on member states to “intensify their efforts to suppress the financing of terrorism, including by restricting financing of Hamas.” It also demands that countries support UN efforts to prevent a spillover of the conflict into neighboring fronts and demands the “immediate cessation by Hezbollah and other armed-groups of all attacks, which constitute clear violations of Resolution 1701.” 

The resolution calls on Iran also to “cease the export of all arms and related material to armed militias and terrorist groups threatening peace and security across the region, including Hamas.” 

It retains some elements from the Brazilian resolution that the US vetoed, such as expressing “deep concern” for the humanitarian situation in Gaza, the need for “full, rapid, safe and unhindered humanitarian access,” and a call to respect and protect hospitals and other civilian and humanitarian facilities, without naming Israel.

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