US says it is working on Gaza cease-fire draft in UN

After Britain, France, Germany propose draft to halt Gaza fighting, Washington presents its own resolution to combine into single draft.

A  vote in the United Nations Security Council headquarters in New York (photo credit: REUTERS)
A vote in the United Nations Security Council headquarters in New York
(photo credit: REUTERS)
As the fighting in Gaza nears its eighth week, the United States has prepared its own draft outline for a UN resolution demanding a cease-fire between Israel and the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and is now working with European powers and Jordan on a joint text, diplomats said on Monday.
US officials and diplomats from other UN member states said that Washington had presented a small group of countries with its own draft elements for a Security Council resolution after Jordan offered one last month and Britain, France and Germany wrote another cease-fire proposal last week.
"The US has come up with its own draft," said one UN diplomat, who declined to be named. "It's quite different from the two others. Now they're working to combine the drafts and come up with a common text."
The US officials and other diplomats declined to speak about the draft's details, but several said it was not acceptable on its own. "We'll work on coming up with a single draft," another UN diplomat said. "What's important is that the Americans are engaging and there's a new momentum in pushing for a cease-fire resolution in the Security Council that would be better than previous ones."
An Israeli official said "this is still under negotiation" and that there was no draft ready yet for the Security Council. Diplomats said Israel received the draft over the weekend. Egypt is also being consulted.
UN diplomats said Washington and Israel appeared increasingly open to the idea of the council demanding a cease-fire.
As 11 Egyptian-brokered cease-fires have already broken-down, UN diplomats said their work on elements for a resolution could help Egypt's efforts.
The British-French-German draft calls for creating a Gaza monitoring mission that would investigate and report cease-fire violations and aid the movement of people and goods to and from the blockaded Gaza region.
It also calls for restoring authority of the Palestinian Authority, led by President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank, in Gaza. Hamas has controlled Gaza since 2007.
Jordan presented a draft cease-fire resolution last month but it does not include a monitoring mechanism, which council diplomats say is one of the main flaws with a 2009 resolution passed by the council.