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European push for new UN resolution on Gaza

The European initiative on Thursday came as fighting flared on the ground and an Egyptian-led effort to broker peace talks teetered on the verge of collapse.

In a document obtained by AFP, the three countries urged an immediate and sustainable ceasefire that would put an end to the firing of rockets and military operations in the Gaza Strip.

It calls for a lifting of the Israeli blockade and a monitoring mechanism to report on ceasefire violations and verify the flow of goods into the Gaza Strip.

Diplomats said the text was aimed at advancing efforts to reach agreement within the 15-member UN Security Council on a resolution after Jordan's draft text met with resistance, notably from the United States.

The so-called "elements" document lays out the parameters for a ceasefire deal that would address Israel's security concerns and meet Palestinian demands.

It asks UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to immediately come up with proposals to "implement the relevant provisions" in a move that could jump-start peace negotiations.

Bid to shore up Egypt's mediation

UN diplomats said they hoped the initiative would shore up the Egyptian-led peace track and lead to a lasting ceasefire that would avoid a relapse into war.

More than 2,083 Palestinians have been killed in the conflict that began on July 8, most of them civilians, according to UN officials.

The European-drafted document calls for the return of the Palestinian Authority to Gaza, which has been under Hamas control for the past seven years.

It provides for the lifting of economic and humanitarian restrictions on the Gaza Strip to allow for a massive reconstruction effort, and for the re-opening of border crossings.

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