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Jordan circulates revised UN resolution on Gaza

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UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Jordan circulated a revised U.N. resolution Tuesday calling for a permanent cease-fire in Gaza and condemning "all violence and hostilities against civilians."

Jordan's new U.N. Ambassador Dina Kawar said the draft resolution, backed by the Palestinians and Arab nations, was submitted to the Security Council in a form that could be put to a vote.

Kawar said Jordan is "very happy" with the 72-hour cease-fire announced late Monday and its main purpose in the resolution is to make the cessation of hostilities permanent and have it lead to a resumption of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations and reconstruction of Gaza.

"We are in consultation with all council members and we hope by the next day or two that we come with a product," she said.

Britain's U.N. Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant said council ambassadors will meet at 9 a.m. EDT on Wednesday to discuss the new draft.

The revised resolution is likely to face an uphill struggle to win approval from the United States, Israel's closest ally and a veto-wielding council member, especially because it makes no mention of Hamas or its rocketing of Israel.

Israel's U.N. Mission did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The draft urges support for the Egyptian cease-fire initiative, calls for "the sustained reopening" of crossing points into the Gaza Strip, and calls on the U.N. to establish "a mechanism" to monitor implementation of a cease-fire agreement and report on any violations.

It expresses "grave concern" at the heavy casualties and displacement of Palestinian civilians in Gaza and calls for the protection of civilians, including an end to military reprisals, collective punishment and the excessive use of force against the Palestinian civilian population.

The resolution is not drafted under Chapter 7 of the U.N. Charter, which is militarily enforceable, and calls for — rather than demands — "an immediate, durable and fully respected cease-fire and the full and immediate withdrawal of the Israeli occupying forces from the Gaza Strip."

Israel said it withdrew the last of its ground forces from Gaza on Tuesday as it began the 72-hour cease-fire with Hamas.

In an open letter to the Security Council circulated Tuesday, the International Federation for Human Rights, representing 178 organizations from nearly 120 countries, condemned the firing of rockets into Israel but said the Israeli army's operations in response "constitute war crimes" and may amount to crimes against humanity.

It called on the council to adopt a resolution backing deployment of "an international interposition force" to end the worsening humanitarian crisis and ensure the protection of civilians in Gaza.

The federation said a resolution should also support prompt Israeli and Palestinian investigations into allegations of grave human rights violations, an International Commission of Inquiry to be appointed by the U.N. Human Rights Council, and a referral of "the situation in Gaza" to the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court.

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