Israel-Palestine: France proposes ceasefire resolution at UN

Photo: AP

Israel and armed Palestinian groups in Gaza exchanged fire overnight into the early hours of Wednesday, as France proposed a ceasefire to stem more than a week of bloodshed, AFP reported. A UN Security Council meeting broke up without issuing a statement late Tuesday, but France then said it had proposed a resolution calling for a ceasefire, in coordination with Israel's neighbours Egypt and Jordan.

Zhang Jun, Beijing's ambassador to the UN, told reporters his team had heard the French ceasefire proposal and China was "supportive". Another diplomat said the proposal would seek to cease hostilities, but also "allow humanitarian access".

The United States, a key Israel ally, has repeatedly blocked adoption of a joint UN Security Council statement calling for a halt to the hostilities.

Hamas has launched nearly 3,700 rockets at Israel since 10 May, often forcing people living by Gaza into bomb shelters around the clock. Israel's near-relentless bombing campaign has left two million Palestinians in Gaza desperate for reprieve. The humanitarian crisis has deepened in the impoverished strip, with the UN saying 72,000 Palestinians have been displaced.

But a convoy of international aid trucks that started rolling into Gaza through a border crossing from Israel, Kerem Shalom, was halted when Israel quickly shuttered it again, citing a mortar attack on the area.

On Tuesday, Israeli forces and protesters clashed across the occupied West Bank and in east Jerusalem, as Palestinians rallied in solidarity with their besieged Gazan counterparts.

 

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