(CNN, 30 mins ago...)
An agreement on a U.N. Security Council resolution calling for an Israeli-Gaza cease-fire has been reached, Arab and Western diplomats said Thursday afternoon.
A preliminary draft of the resolution obtained by CNN on Thursday expresses "grave concern" at the growing humanitarian crisis and heavy civilian casualties in Gaza as well as civilian deaths in Israel from Hamas rocket fire.
Roughly 765 Palestinians have been killed since Israel began its military assault on Gaza on December 27, according to Palestinian medical sources. Thirteen Israelis, including 10 soldiers, also have been killed since the military operation began.
It was not clear immediately when a vote on the resolution could take place. The resolution draft "stresses the urgency of, and calls for, an immediate, durable, and fully respected cease-fire which will lead to the full withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza."
The draft also welcomes efforts by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to broker a cease-fire between Israelis and Palestinians in current talks in Cairo, Egypt. The draft calls for the opening of corridors to allow humanitarian aid into Gaza, where food, water, electricity and medicine shortages have worsened already poor conditions since Israel's offensive in Gaza began.
The council's wrangling over the resolution centered on wording. Arab countries generally pushed for language demanding Israel cease attacks, while Western diplomats wanted more neutral language.
The U.N. General Assembly postponed a meeting scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Thursday in anticipation of a vote by the Security Council.
"We will closely analyze the resolution and determine whether it is serious, and contemplates the pertinent measures -- both to ensure the immediate cease-fire and the unimpeded access to the humanitarian needs of the Palestinian people," assembly President Miguel d'Escoto said in a written statement.
Source: CNN News
MrsN says: While they haggle with the "wording" of the resolution, more Palestinians are being killed by the hour. But at this point of time, any positive development in Gaza is most welcomed. Let's hope our prayers are answered sooner than we expected.