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France seeks UN Security Council resolution for Gaza truce monitoring

FILE PHOTO: Members of the United Nations Security Council vote on a Gaza resolution that demands an immediate ceasefire, in New York

By Michelle Nichols

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - France on Monday proposed a draft United Nations Security Council resolution that seeks options for possible U.N. monitoring of a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip and proposals to help the Palestinian Authority assume responsibilities.

"It's an ambitious project. It will take time," French U.N. Ambassador Nicolas de Riviere said of the text, which will need at least 9 votes in favor and no vetoes by the four other permanent members: the United States, Britain, Russia and China.

The draft resolution, seen by Reuters, also calls for an immediate ceasefire between Israel and Palestinians militants Hamas in Gaza and demands the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages still held in Gaza by Hamas and others.

Israel's ally the United States abstained from a vote last month to allow the 15-member council to demand an immediate ceasefire for the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, which ends next week, and the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages. It has not been implemented by the warring parties.

A truce, including the release of some hostages, last took place in November.

The war began after Hamas fighters attacked Israel on Oct. 7, killing 1,200 people and seizing 253 hostages, according to Israeli tallies.

Israel retaliated by imposing a total siege on Gaza, then launching an air and ground assault that has killed more than 32,000 Palestinians, health authorities in Gaza say.

The draft U.N. text condemns the Oct. 7 attacks by Hamas. Hamas in 2007 ousted the Palestinian Authority from power in the Gaza Strip.

Alongside a push to end the war, global pressure has grown for a resumption of efforts to broker a two-state solution - with an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel.

The draft Security Council resolution "decides that a negotiated solution should be achieved urgently through decisive and irreversible measures taken by parties towards a two-State solution where two democratic States, Israel and Palestine, live side by side in peace."

It also calls for the "massive delivery of humanitarian aid" to civilians in Gaza.

A global authority on food security has warned that famine is imminent in parts of Gaza, where more than three-quarters of the 2.3 million people have been forced from their homes and swathes of the territory are in ruins.

(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; editing by Costas Pitas)