US veto blocks draft ceasefire in war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. UN: “The Strip is collapsing”

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By John

The US rejects the proposal for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza at the United Nations Security Council. A truce that the UN instead deems necessary, given that the situation in the Strip is close to the “point of no return”, with “civil order collapsing”.

Humanitarian aid, in the bottleneck of the Rafah crossing, is struggling to reach the Palestinian enclave. «The streets – reported the director of UNRWA, the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees, Thomas White – are in chaos, especially after sunset: some humanitarian convoys have been looted and UN vehicles stoned. Society is on the verge of total collapse.”

While the battle rages on the ground, in the evening the Ezzedin al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, released a video showing the body of an Israeli soldier who died, according to the Palestinian militiamen, following a failed raid to free him attempted this morning by Israeli forces. The film, which lasts just under two minutes, shows in the first part the kidnapped soldier speaking in the room, unharmed: «My name is Saar Baruch, I’m 24 years old and I’m from Kibbutz Beeri. Since October 7th I have been hostage in Gaza. I want to go home » he says.

Then the images continue with what Hamas says are the consequences of the attempted raid: pools of blood on the floor and on the steps of some stairs, together with bullet casings and the disorder and destruction resulting from the firefight. The images end unequivocally with the corpse of the Israeli soldier.

Military spokesman Daniel Hagari, admitting that the operation which ended without the release of any hostages, limited himself to saying that “numerous terrorists were killed” and two soldiers were not seriously injured, without obviously confirming the militiamen’s version of the killed soldier.

«Hamas is trying to use the weapon of psychological terrorism. We must refrain from spreading unfounded rumours”, he urged. At the UN, however, rejecting the draft resolution for an immediate ceasefire, the American ambassador to the UN Robert Wood explained that “the United States firmly supports a lasting peace” but a truce now “would only throw the seeds for the next war.”

“The brutality perpetrated by Hamas – reiterated the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, relaunching the proposal for a humanitarian truce – will never be able to justify the collective punishment of the Palestinian people”. According to the Hamas Ministry of Health (which does not distinguish between civilian and militia victims), the deaths in the Strip have reached 17,487.

But Israel has denounced that the Islamic faction “is solely responsible” for what is happening, reiterating that only “the elimination of Hamas” can lead to peace. In the diplomatic pressure for a solution to the conflict, French President Emmanuel Macron heard Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressing to him “the need to protect the civilians of Gaza” and underlining “the importance of reaching a lasting ceasefire”.

But another of the issues that seem to prevent a turning point is the future of the enclave once the war is over. Ramallah Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh evoked, during talks with the USA, the political control of the Palestinian National Authority over the Strip which may not exclude, albeit in a subordinate form, Hamas.

“If they are willing to make an agreement and accept the PLO’s political platform, it will be possible to talk about it,” Shtayyeh argued. A position again rejected by Netanyahu. In the future of Gaza, the Israeli prime minister reaffirmed, «there will be no Hamas, we will eliminate it. The mere fact that the PNA is proposing it only strengthens my political vision: it is not the solution.”

On the field, the army (93 soldiers killed since the start of the ground operation) is continuing to press throughout the Strip. “I see signs – said Defense Minister Yoav Gallant – that Hamas is starting to give in.” In Khan Yunis, the faction’s stronghold in the south, the 7th Brigade “began operations to break the enemy lines, hitting dozens of Hamas positions and observation posts.” Even in Jabalya, in the north, the battle continues. As well as in Shuyaia, in the center, where in the city area – according to the military spokesperson – a tunnel entrance was found in a classroom of the local school.