U.N. draft resolution calls for ‘immediate’ end to Gaza war

he draft resolution stressed the urgency of 'an immediate, durable and fully respected ceasefire'

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A U.N. Security Council draft resolution prepared by Arab states calls for an immediate end to the ongoing war in Gaza and increased international effort to resolve the decades-old conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

A copy of the document obtained by Al Arabiya’s New York bureau chief Talal al-Haj on Friday, expresses “grave concern at the escalation of violence and the deterioration of the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, due to the Israeli military operations, particularly against the Gaza Strip.”

On Friday, Israel pressed on for a fourth day with its Gaza offensive, striking the Hamas-dominated enclave from air and sea, as Palestinian militants kept up rocket attacks deep into the Jewish state.

At least 82 Palestinians, most of them civilians, have been killed in the offensive, which Israel says it launched to end persistent rocket attacks on its civilian population, some of which have reached Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and other cities.

The draft resolution stressed the urgency of “an immediate, durable and fully respected ceasefire,” despite Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu explicitly ruling out the possibility of an imminent ceasefire, stating, “It’s not even on the agenda.”

It “calls upon all parties” involved in the conflict to respect international humanitarian law and urged all parties “to refrain from actions and steps that could further destabilize the situation.”

The draft document also called on the international community to work towards a peace deal based on the two-state solution “Palestine and Israel, living side by side on the basis of the pre-1967 borders.”

However, the Israeli bombardment, and Hamas’ firing of rockets, does not show signs of slowing.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a televised statement on Thursday: “So far the battle is progressing as planned, but we can expect further stages in future. Up to now, we have hit Hamas and the terror organizations hard and as the battle continues we will increase strikes at them.”

Netanyahu discussed options with his security cabinet as new air strikes were launched and officials hinted at a ground offensive. There was no word on when or if this might happen.

The last time they undertook such an offensive was in early 2009. Ground troops did not cross into the Strip, one of the world’s most densely populated territories, during the last major exchange of rockets and missiles in October 2012.