Arab countries to propose U.N. resolution on Gaza

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Arab countries are drafting a U.N Security Council resolution demanding an immediate end to "Israeli aggression" in Gaza.

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki told reporters that the Arab states wanted "a resolution that will permit first of all ending the Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people in Gaza and calling for an immediate and permanent cease-fire, lifting the siege, opening the crossings between Gaza and Israel, and also between Gaza and Egypt," according to Reuters.

The Arab states — which include Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya and Saudi Arabia — also want the resolution to call for international observers to be stationed at the border crossings with Gaza, which Israel does not support, and an "international force" to protect Palestinians.

Al-Malki also said Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas would be the first to address Tuesday’s Security Council meeting.

Meanwhile, Ha’aretz reported that the United States will block any attempt by Arab countries to have the Security Council play a role in settling the Gaza crisis. The paper said the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Zalmay Khalilzad, had been given explicit instructions from his superiors to stop any initiative proposed by the Arab bloc that would grant the Security Council "the status of an official arbiter" in the Gaza situation.

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