April 13, 2024

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Gaza: Security Council adopts first resolution calling for “immediate ceasefire”.

Gaza: Security Council adopts first resolution calling for “immediate ceasefire”.

After more than five months of war, the UN The Security Council finally adopted a resolution on Monday calling for an “immediate ceasefire” in Gaza, a call repeatedly blocked by the US, which this time avoided it, increasing pressure on its Israeli ally.

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The resolution, which was adopted to applause by 14 votes in favor, with one vote, “demands an immediate ceasefire for the month of Ramadan” – which already began two weeks ago -, “leads to a ceasefire – sustained fire” and “requests” the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages”.

“For five months, the Palestinian people have suffered terribly. This bloodshed has been going on for a long time. It is our duty to put an end to it. “Finally, the Security Council accepts its responsibilities,” said Algerian Ambassador Amar Bendjama, even as council resolutions continue to be ignored by the states concerned.

Unlike the U.S. text, which was rejected by Russian and Chinese vetoes on Friday, it did not link these demands to diplomatic efforts by Qatar, the United States and Egypt, even as it “recognized” the existence of these talks, aimed at a ceasefire with an exchange. Palestinian hostages and prisoners.

But US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield reiterated the link.

“This resolution recognizes that we must observe peace during the month of Ramadan. Hamas can do this by accepting a deal on the table. “A ceasefire can begin immediately after the release of the first hostage (…) This is the only way to ensure a ceasefire and the release of the hostages,” he declared.

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On Friday, Russia and China vetoed a draft US resolution stressing the “need” of an “immediate ceasefire” in Gaza over negotiations to free hostages taken during Hamas' bloody and unprecedented attack on Israeli soil on October 7.

Some observers see this as a significant evolution in Washington's position under pressure to limit support for Israel, which has killed more than 32,000 people in Israeli strikes, according to the Hamas health ministry.

The US had until then systematically opposed the use of the term “ceasefire” in UN resolutions, banning three resolutions to this effect.

And after Ramadan?

But the rejected U.S. text did not explicitly call for an immediate ceasefire, using words considered ambiguous by Arab states, China and Russia, which condemned the U.S.'s “hypocritical drama.”

Diplomatic sources said Monday's resolution was the result of work by the council's non-permanent members, who held talks with the United States all weekend to try to avoid another defeat.

The resolution calls for the “removal of all obstacles” to humanitarian aid.

The Council, which had been deeply divided over the Israeli-Palestinian issue for years, had until then managed to adopt two resolutions (out of eight put to a vote) on the issue since 7 October. Without much end: Aid pouring into besieged Gaza is insufficient and famine is looming.

The new resolution condemns “all acts of terrorism” but does not mention the October 7 Hamas attacks that led to the deaths of at least 1,160 people, most of them civilians, according to an AFP tally based on official Israeli data.

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No resolution adopted by the Council or the UN General Assembly since October 7 has specifically condemned Hamas, which has been categorically blamed by Israel and the United States.

While Monday's resolution focused on a temporary ceasefire for Ramadan, several countries have stressed the need for a long-term ceasefire.

The Council “must establish a permanent cease-fire after Ramadan, which ends in 2 weeks, that will work towards the recovery and stabilization of Gaza, and finally and above all the Council must put the Council back on track aimed at establishing a political process. A two-state solution is the only solution that can guarantee peace,” stressed French Ambassador Nicolas de Riviere.