In the midst of the Israel-Hamas conflict, a recent Bloomberg report reveals that the United States and its European allies are actively exploring the possibility of deploying an international peacekeeping force in the Gaza Strip once hostilities cease. The proposed initiative aims to exert pressure on Israel for a ceasefire in the region.
According to sources familiar with the matter, discussions on this potential strategy are ongoing, recognizing the skepticism Israel may have towards such a proposal.
As casualties on the Palestinian side continue to rise, surpassing 11,000 according to Palestinian authorities, international calls for a ceasefire have intensified. The discussions surrounding the deployment of an international peacekeeping force are at a preliminary stage within the United Nations Security Council.
Notably, on November 15, the Security Council passed a resolution advocating for humanitarian pauses in the ongoing conflict. In a departure from its usual stance, the United States refrained from exercising its veto power, despite maintaining Israel’s right to defend itself in response to Hamas’s October 7 attack.
In contemplating the potential role of an international peacekeeping force, officials are considering expanding the responsibilities of the UN Truce Supervision Organization.
Originally established in 1949 to implement the Armistice Agreement between several nations, including Israel, this move reflects an effort to address the evolving dynamics of the conflict.
In the context of these developments, US President Joe Biden voiced support for Israel’s counteroffensive, emphasizing the persistent threat posed by Hamas. Biden characterized Israel’s shift from aerial bombardment to more targeted ground operations as a strategic adjustment to minimize civilian casualties.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken engaged in discussions with Benny Grantz, a minister in Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s war cabinet, addressing the Gaza situation and efforts to secure the release of hostages held by Hamas.
Blinken also urged Israel to take affirmative steps to de-escalate tensions in the West Bank, citing concerns about settler extremist violence.
Meanwhile, Netanyahu assured that Israel is making efforts to ensure the safety of Gaza residents, including the distribution of leaflets warning them to flee. However, he acknowledged challenges in reducing casualties. Additionally, the Israeli military discovered a tunnel shaft used by Hamas at Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza.
Amid the ongoing conflict, the UN Palestinian refugee agency reported that no humanitarian aid would enter the Gaza Strip via the Rafah Border crossing from Egypt, exacerbating challenges for residents grappling with fuel shortages, internet outages, and communication disruptions.
The situation remains fluid, with international actors closely monitoring developments in pursuit of a sustainable resolution to the crisis.