Monday, December 4, 2023

US, EU considering UN force in Gaza: Report

The US and its European allies are pushing a plan to deploy an international peacekeeping force in the Gaza Strip after the war, according to people familiar with the matter, raising pressure on Israel to bring its military operation to an end as civilian casualties mount.

The multinational peacekeeping force would be deployed in Gaza after the end of the war in the besieged enclave, sources told Bloomberg.

The sources said that the officials discussing the idea “concede big questions remain about whether such an operation would be workable in Gaza”, particularly in light of Israeli scepticism.

But the officials believe that raising the prospect of a UN force may encourage Israel to end its assault on Gaza, which has led to more than 14.000 deaths and a humanitarian disaster.

Anonymous Israeli officials told Bloomberg that they were sceptical that the UN force would be effective, and that Israeli forces would expect to be able to enter and exit Gaza “at will”.

One option being considered by US and European officials would involve an expanded role for the UN Truce Supervision Organization, which was first established in 1949 to help implement armistice agreements between Palestinian Arabs and Israel following the war that broke out in 1948 after the creation of Israel.

Similar UN structures across the globe could be used as a template, the people added, pointing to a UN-backed troop deployment to Haiti led by Kenyan soldiers and another force mandated by the UN Security Council in Somalia to fight against the militant group al-Shabab.

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