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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.

Go deeper: Biden backs Gaza ceasefire for first time in call with Netanyahu

Go deeper

May 17, 2021 - World

Biden backs Gaza ceasefire for first time in call with Netanyahu

Biden with Netanyahu in 2010. Photo: Debbi Hill/Pool/ Getty Images

President Biden expressed support for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in a call on Thursday evening with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the White House said in a statement.

Why it matters: This is the first time since the beginning of the crisis last Monday that Biden or anyone in his administration has publicly backed a ceasefire. It will increase pressure on Israel to seek an end to the conflict, which Netanyahu has insisted will continue until Hamas' ability to attack Israel is further degraded.

May 16, 2021 - World

U.N. envoy resumes push for cease fire in Gaza

Tor Wennesland. Photo by KHALIL MAZRAAWI/AFP via Getty Images

Tor Wennesland, U.N. Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, has been holding extensive talks with both Israel and Hamas over the past 24 hours in an effort to restore peace, a diplomatic source tells Axios.

Driving the news: The source said Wennesland spoke on Sunday to Israel’s National Security Adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat and other senior Israeli security officials as well as Hamas officials and Egyptian intelligence officials.

Lawmakers call for Israel-Hamas ceasefire amid aerial bombardments

Combination images of Republican Sen. Todd Young and Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy. Photo: Michael Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images/Greg Nash-Pool/Getty Images

Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.) and 28 Senate Democrats on Sunday called for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas as fighting continued into the night.

Driving the news: Young, a ranking member of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near East, South Asia, Central Asia and Counterterrorism, joined panel Chair Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) in a bipartisan statement saying: "Israel has the right to defend itself from Hamas' rocket attacks, in a manner proportionate with the threat its citizens are facing.