Bombed building in Gaza - image by Times of Gaza

The Egyptian government on Tuesday submitted to Israeli government officials and to representatives of the Palestinian Authority in Gaza a proposal for a ceasefire beginning 6 am Thursday morning. Hamas officials in Gaza have agreed to the proposal, but Israeli officials have so far refused to respond.

Also Tuesday, 14 of the 15 member states of the United Nations Security Council attempted for the fourth time since May 10th to pass a resolution calling for a ceasefire, and the US for the fourth time vetoed it.

There is no negotiation and no communication happening between Israel and the Palestinian Authority in Gaza. Egyptian officials say they are trying to facilitate this communication, but there has been no cooperation from the Israeli side.

Meanwhile, Israel continues to pound Gaza with thousands of pounds of missiles night after night, killing over 200 people and destroying hundreds of millions of dollars worth of infrastructure.

The Egyptian government has said that the truce would be temporary, in order to allow them to bring in humanitarian aid through the Rafah border crossing between Gaza and the West Bank, and to evacuate severely wounded Palestinians from the overcrowded and overwhelmed hospitals in Gaza to hospitals in Egypt where they can be treated.

The US has repeatedly prevented efforts at a truce, preventing international efforts and refusing to condemn Israeli war crimes in Gaza – which have included targeting medical facilities, journalists, firing white phosphorus and leveling entire apartment buildings filled with families and children.

As Medea Benjamin wrote Tuesday in an article for Salon, “Diplomatically, the United States has exercised its veto in the UN Security Council 82 times, and 44 of those vetoes have been to shield Israel from accountability for war crimes or human rights violations. In every single case, the United States has been the lone vote against the resolution, although a few other countries have occasionally abstained.

“It is only the United States’ privileged position as a veto-wielding permanent member of the Security Council, and its willingness to abuse that privilege to shield its ally Israel, that gives it this unique power to stymie international efforts to hold the Israeli government accountable for its actions under international law.”

A former US deputy national security adviser during the Obama administration, Ben Rhodes, tweeted on Sunday that it “feels increasingly untenable for the U.S. to see this loss of civilian life in Gaza — including so many children — and not publicly call for a cease-fire.”