Biden to go to UN Security Council to force temporary cease-fire on Israel, halt Rafah offensive

A senior administration told Reuters they didn’t believe ‘a rush to a vote is necessary or constructive’

By Benjamin Weinthal Fox News   

President Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (AP | Getty Images)

JERUSALEM — The Biden administration is reportedly taking its goal of a temporary cease-fire in the Israel-Hamas war to the U.N. Security Council as early as Tuesday.

The administration is said to have proposed a draft U.N. Security Council resolution which in part would call for a temporary cease-fire and call on Israel not to go into Rafah in the Gaza Strip.

According to Reuters, the U.S. text states in part that it “determines that under current circumstances a major ground offensive into Rafah would result in further harm to civilians and their further displacement including potentially into neighboring countries.”

Richard Goldberg, a former NSC official during the Trump administration, told Fox News Digital, “The United States should be vetoing pro-Hamas resolutions, not proposing them. By putting forward a resolution calling for a ceasefire and opposing Israeli military action in Rafah, the White House is effectively pushing for Hamas to survive to massacre another day. This is a complete betrayal of U.S. interests and values.”


A senior administration official speaking to Reuters on condition of anonymity said, “We don’t believe a rush to a vote is necessary or constructive and intend on allowing time for negotiations.”

The Jewish state has hitherto opposed President Biden’s attempts to torpedo its slated seizure of Rafah where one of the last bastions of Hamas terrorists and hostages, including Americans, are believed to be located.

On Friday, President Biden made clear his feelings about Israel going into Rafah, telling reporters, “I’m hoping that the Israelis will not make a massive land invasion.”

Biden added during the same press conference that he had engaged with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the situation and that he had made the case in calling for a temporary cease-fire so that hostage negotiations can continue.

“The world must know and Hamas leaders must know if our hostages are not home by Ramadan, the fighting will continue and expand to Rafah,” said Benny Gantz, an Israeli security cabinet member and leader of the opposition party. Ramadan starts on March 11.

On Sunday, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said the decision was one Israel would take on its own: “Hamas is left with marginal [forces] in the central camps and with the Rafah Brigade, and what stands between them and a complete collapse as a military system is a decision by the IDF.”

Commentators have noted that the hostage release talks in Cairo are stagnate and Israeli forces have managed to free two hostages via limited incursions into Rafah last week.

Gallant fired back at the international voices opposed to an invasion into Rafah: “There is no one here to come to their aid, no Iranians, no international aid.”

He continued, “There were 24 regional battalions in Gaza – we have dismantled 18 of them,” Gallant said during a media briefing last week. “Now, Rafah is the next Hamas center of gravity.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, center, confers with Defense Minister Yoav Gallant during their meeting with President Biden in Tel Aviv on Oct. 18, 2023. (Miriam Alster/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)

A U.S. State Department spokesperson told Fox News Digital, “We have also been clear that a full-scale Israel military operation in Rafah should not proceed until there is a credible and executable plan for ensuring the safety of and support for the more than 1 million people sheltering there.”

According to the State Department spokesperson, “The best way to achieve an enduring end to the crisis in Gaza that provides lasting peace and security for Israelis and Palestinians alike, is our strong commitment to the creation of a Palestinian state.?As such, the United States continues to support the?two-state solution and to oppose policies that endanger its viability or contradict our mutual interests and values.”


A picture taken from Rafah shows smoke billowing over Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip during Israeli bombardment on Jan. 22, 2024. (AFP via Getty Images)

Yigal Carmon, who was a colonel in Israel’s military intelligence service, told Fox News Digital, “The Rafah crossing was the major area through which the worst smuggling operation went on for years when it was in the hands of the Egyptian government. If this is not stopped, there will be no end to the war and no end to war, particularly heavy missiles on Tel Aviv and its surroundings. The seizure of Rafah will limit the war significantly.”

Palestinian Authority President Mahmud Abbas and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken shake hands prior to a meeting at the Muqata, the presidential compound in the West Bank city of Ramallah. ((Photo by SAUL LOEB / POOL / AFP) (Photo by SAUL LOEB/POOL/AFP via Getty Images))

He added, “If the U.S. administration has a miraculous way to convince Egypt to fulfill its commitment, then there would be no need for an operation. Unfortunately, the United States does not pressure Egypt even though it has all the capabilities to do that. But what remains is to pressure Israel, but this will not work because what is at stake is missiles on Tel Aviv, and Netanyahu cannot afford to end the war with [a] continued flow of missiles on Tel Aviv.”


Israel Defense Forces troops cross the Gaza war zone. (IDF Spokesman’s Unit)

Carmon, the founder and president of the Middle East Media Research Institute, on Aug. 31 predicted an Iran-backed Hamas terrorist attack on Israel, which became reality on Oct. 7.

When asked why Biden is imposing pressure on Israel, Goldberg, a senior advisor at The Foundation for Defense of Democracies said, “There are lines being pushed that it’s all about Dearborn, or that it’s all about securing Saudi-Israel peace, but the polling out of Michigan and the strategic priorities in Riyadh don’t back up these arguments. It looks more like left-wing ideologues using the pretext of political necessity and the potential of a Saudi-Israel normalization deal to jam through all the bad ideas that never made it into policy for years.”

Fox News Digital reported that Biden is putting Israel in a vice in order to win over the large American-Muslim vote in Dearborn, Michigan, which is a critical swing state in his 2024 reelection campaign.

On Sunday, Netanyahu told the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, “The release of hostages can be achieved through strong military action and tough negotiations, very tough negotiations. That tough position has to involve the exertion of pressure. And the exertion of pressure is not merely on Hamas itself but on those who can exert pressure on Hamas, beginning with Qatar.”

Netanyahu added, “Qatar can press Hamas as no one else can. They host Hamas leaders. Hamas is dependent on them financially. I urge you to press Qatar to press Hamas because we want our hostages released. I hope that we can achieve a deal soon, to release more of our hostages. But deal or no deal, we have to finish the job to get total victory.”

The U.S. Mission to the U.N. didn’t immediately respond to Fox News Digital for comment.

Reuters contributed to this report.

February 20, 2024 | 9 Comments »

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9 Comments / 9 Comments

  1. @Vivarto I think it may have been during the last war with Gaza, or maybe it was the one before, that I was sitting in a restaurant in my neighborhood, which is a college neighborhood, with a friend, and a drunken seminary student from New Zealand, who it later turned out was pro-“Palestinian,” came up to me, out the blue – I had never seen him before – and kept threateningly shouting in my face, “Americans ought to be gassed.” And nobody cared.

    Have to say, though, despite all the noisy marches, I’m sensing a very different feel now, around here. It’s muted, but I think people support Israel, privately. And I don’t sense the palpable anti-American hostility that was ubiquitous before. I sense a change in the air.

    I was just helping an old friend to the doctor today who is disabled and is still very much a leftist. An African-American leftist. She supports Trump and Orban and wants to end the Ukraine war with the Russian speaking areas remaining in Russia, though we disagreed about the war in Gaza. But, that’s different. How about that?

  2. @Vivarto “Did Americans make a safe and credible plan before they firebombed 100s of Japanese cities?
    Did they evacuate Tokyo before burning it and killing 100,000 people and displacing a million?”

    And let’s not forget the firebombing of Dresden, the carpet bombing of Berlin, Munich, Nuremberg and other German cities (and the occasional church by accident in occupied France – Stradivarius’ violas were destroyed that way) or the expulsion of ethnic Germans from Czechoslovakia, Poland, and the Soviet Union with the blessing of the Allied Powers.

    The answer is, of course, no, but I wouldn’t go back that far to show the hypocrisy because I’ve never met an American, other than myself, who didn’t condemn everything the U.S. has ever done in war, especially in Japan, prior to President Bill Clinton as a war crime. Remember when President Clinton went on his disastrous apology tour over the overthrow of Mosaddegh in Iran? Not long ago, I asked a pro-Ukraine war liberal – in a Facebook pro-Israel group – if she now thought we were right to fight the Vietnam War and should never have withdrawn or ended funding for South Vietnam and she accused me of gaslighting her! 😀

    Better to make the comparison with Bill Clinton carpet bombing Serbia and Obama’s unsurpassed record of killing innocent civilians with drone attacks, including a wedding party. Or Biden’s indiscriminate arming of Ukraine, today. Those are the only two wars American liberals/Progressives will defend.

    Progressives don’t identify with any regime further back than that. And Conservatives don’t usually need convincing.

    Independents may need convincing. But they often don’t know much about history.

    The Democrats became the bash America party after LBJ. Post LBJ, They only supported cold war with Russia after the Soviet Union was gone. But, they still like China.

    Jonathan Pollard thinks the Dems will get rid of Biden and put Michelle – “I’m finally proud to be an American” – Obama in his place in November.

  3. Vivarto

    What is meant by a “humanitarian cease fire” I don’t quite know what it means you??

    There are enough “humanitarian” precautions being taken by the IDF already, far far more than any other armed force would do, or even be asked to do.

  4. dreuveni
    By saying that Israel will continue to the end if the hostages are not released has implications that I don’t believe you intended.

    Israel will continue whether the hostages are released or NOT until Hamas is totally destroyed beyond any revival.

    That ia the promise of all Israeli govt offiials not least the P.M.

  5. At this time, it is useful to remember Churchill and especially two of his statements. The first: Victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory however long and hard the road may be; for without victory, there is no survival.

    The second: If You’re Going Through Hell, Keep Going.

    The risible ‘two-state’ imposition is, as I have previously said, death on the instalment plan for the Jewish state.

  6. Still at a stalemate. The state department plan for a Palestinian state is a non-starter. The reasons have been explained numerous times but since the state department seems to be populated by Muslims, no other solution wiil be forthcoming. If anyone at the state department is NOT a Muslim, he might want to review his own commitments.
    The quintescence of this situation is that Israel is not willing to concede defeat and quite willing to continue till the bloody end if the hostages are not released.

  7. If the draft is calling for release of ALL prisoners in exchange for a 6 week humanitarian ceasefire, then it is acceptable.
    Except for that Hamas will never accept it.

    By the way it is ridiculous that Israel should release even a single “Palestinian” terrorist in exchange for the innocent hostages. That in itself is a Hamas victory.

  8. Israel should release a direct critique of Biden’s pressure.

    They are pressuring Israel to surrender just so that Joe Biden can get support from the antisemitic wing of the Democratic party.

  9. Did Americans make a safe and credible plan before they firebombed 100s of Japanese cities?
    Did they evacuate Tokyo before burning it and killing 100,000 people and displacing a million?

    And the Japanese did not come to their country and did not rape their men, women and children, did not behead their babies, and their goal was not eradication of America, only a dispute over influence in East Asia.