May 18, 2021 - World

France pushes Gaza ceasefire call at UN Security Council

Rockets are launched towards Israel from Gaza City, controlled by the Palestinian Hamas movement, on May 18, 2021

Rockets are launched toward Israel from Gaza City, controlled by the Palestinian Hamas movement, on May 18. Photo: MAHMUD HAMS / Getty Images

France is pushing a resolution at the UN Security Council calling for a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, which it plans to bring for a vote in the coming days if the fighting continues, a French source tells Axios.

Why it matters: The move surprised the Biden administration, which has blocked three previous Security Council statements on Gaza. The French could use the draft resolution to get the U.S. to apply more pressure on Israel to stop its military operation.

Driving the news: France circulated a draft to several members of the council on Tuesday. The move was coordinated with Egypt and Jordan following a summit between French President Emmanuel Macron, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and King Abdullah II of Jordan.

  • The draft resolution is based on public statements in support of a ceasefire made by the Biden administration in recent days, according to the French source, in order to make it more difficult for the U.S. to veto a resolution that's based on its own policy.
  • Israel lobbied the U.S. to block three previous draft statements on Gaza at the council. While it did so, the administration has begun sending signals that it wants Israel to end its operation soon.

What's next: To block the resolution, the U.S. would have to use its veto power. That's something the Biden administration, which has pledged to strengthen multilateralism, will be reluctant to do.

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