France, which has been calling for a rapid ceasefire for several days, said it supports mediation led by Egypt, reports Asian Lite News
France has proposed a resolution with the UN Security Council, in coordination with Egypt and Jordan, calling for a ceasefire in the Israel-Gaza conflict, the president’s office said late Tuesday.
French President Emmanuel Macron and his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who is in Paris for summits on Africa, agreed on the resolution in a video conference with Jordan’s King Abdullah II, the statement said.
“The three countries agreed on three simple elements: The shooting must stop, the time has come for a ceasefire and the UN Security Council must take up the issue,” the Elysee Palace said.
France, which has been calling for a rapid ceasefire for several days, said it supports mediation led by Egypt.
Macron had on Monday underlined the importance of Egyptian mediation after talks in Paris with Sisi, a key ally and defence client of France despite activists’ concerns over Cairo’s rights record.
The UN Security Council has failed to adopt a simple declaration on the conflict, with the United States, a staunch Israel ally, having rejected three prior statement drafts proposed by China, Norway and Tunisia which called for an end to the fighting.
China’s UN ambassador Zhang Jun said that during a closed-door meeting, members “heard the proposal made by our French colleague in the Council and for China, definitely, we are supportive to all effort facilitating the ending of the crisis and the coming back of peace in the Middle East.”
Israel says it has no timeframe
Meanwhile, Israel said it was not setting a timeframe for an end to hostilities with Gaza as its military pounded the Palestinian enclave with air strikes and Hamas unleashed new cross-border rocket attacks.
Palestinian medical officials said 219 people had now been killed in 10 days of aerial bombardments which have destroyed roads, buildings and other infrastructure, and worsened the already dire humanitarian situation in Gaza.
Israeli authorities put the death toll at 12 in Israel, where repeated rocket attacks have caused panic and sent people rushing into shelters. Regional and U.S.-led diplomatic efforts to secure a ceasefire have intensified but so far failed.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made no mention of any halt to the fighting in public remarks at a briefing to foreign ambassadors to Israel, saying his country was engaged in “forceful deterrence” to prevent future conflict with Hamas.
In remarks reported by Israeli media from a closed question-and-answer session, he was quoted as saying: “We’re not standing with a stopwatch. We want to achieve the goals of the operation. Previous operations lasted a long time so it is not possible to set a timeframe.”
In a 25-minute attack overnight, Israel bombarded targets including what its military said were tunnels in the southern Gaza Strip used by Hamas, the Islamist group that governs Gaza.
Some 50 rockets were fired from the enclave, the Israeli military said, with sirens sounding in the coastal city of Ashdod, south of Tel Aviv, and in areas closer to the Gaza border. There were no reports of injuries or damage overnight but days of rocket fire have unsettled many Israelis.