War in the Middle East, the USA accelerates this time: “Immediate ceasefire”


By John

The US is accelerating, for the first time in over five months of war, a ceasefire in Gaza. Within the week – perhaps already tomorrow – American diplomacy will present a draft resolution to the UN Security Council calling for an “immediate and prolonged ceasefire, in connection with the release of all hostages”. A “strong signal” that reverses the previous positions of the USA which had vetoed other resolutions – such as that of Algeria – objecting precisely to the adjective “immediate”. The US turning point comes on the eve of the Secretary of State's visit to Israel – after stops in Saudi Arabia and Egypt Antony Blinken“We sincerely hope – he said from Riyadh – that the countries support it.” From Cairo, the head of US diplomacy – who will meet Benyamin Netanyahu tomorrow – reiterated that the announced ground operation in Rafah, in the south of the Strip, would be “a mistake”, an “unnecessary” move to eliminate the threat from Hamas, as the Israeli Prime Minister strongly supports. At the same time, Blinken estimated that an agreement on the exchange of prisoners is “possible” because the distances between the parties are “shrinking”: “A truce is approaching,” he said. In fact, after the recent frost recorded on the negotiations, the head of the Mossad David Barnea is about to return to Doha to resume talks with the director of the CIA William Burns, the Prime Minister of Qatar Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani and the head of Egyptian intelligence Abbas Kamal. The text of the American resolution to the UN provides that «the Security Council determines the imperative of an immediate and prolonged ceasefire to protect civilians on all sides, allow the delivery of essential humanitarian assistance and alleviate humanitarian suffering».

And, he continues, “towards this goal he unequivocally supports the ongoing international diplomatic efforts to guarantee this ceasefire in connection with the release of all the remaining hostages.” “It is necessary – Blinken then reiterated from Egypt together with the Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry – intensify all efforts to reach a global ceasefire as soon as possible” and to speed up the flow of aid, overcoming “the obstacles posed by Israel”. It is reasonable to assume that the Secretary of State will explain to Netanyahu and to the war cabinet the US move in the Security Council, and will reiterate Washington's concerns about the operation in Rafah, already confirmed by the Israeli prime minister in the last telephone conversation with President Joe Biden and also claimed by the Minister of Strategic Affairs Ron Dermer – loyal to Netanyahu – according to whom Israel will enter Rafah even if “the whole world turns against it, including the USA”. In fact, it is not only the United States that is looking with apprehension at the operation in the southern end of the Strip, where they are hundreds of thousands of Palestinians on the run have been displaced: in a meeting with the UN secretary general, Antonio Guterres, Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni also expressed Italian concern about the action. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz called for “a lasting ceasefire”, while the head of EU diplomacy Josep Borrell noted that Israel has “the right to defend itself but not to take revenge”. On the 167th day of the war, Israel continues the operation at the Shifa hospital in Gaza City. According to the military spokesperson, “140 terrorists” have so far been killed and around “650” arrested, including senior leaders of Hamas and Islamic Jihad who took part in the October 7 attack and held hostages. The death toll in Gaza – according to data from the Hamas Ministry of Health which cannot be independently verified – has now risen to 31,988, with 74,188 injured. And tension is still growing in the West Bank: 4 militiamen were killed in armed clashes in Tulkarem and a Palestinian was shot to death at a checkpoint in the Bethlehem area.