April 13, 2024

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The UN Security Council adopts a resolution demanding an immediate end to the ceasefire in Gaza News of the Israeli war on Gaza

The UN Security Council adopts a resolution demanding an immediate end to the ceasefire in Gaza  News of the Israeli war on Gaza

The UN Security Council demanded an immediate ceasefire between Israel and the Palestinian Hamas movement in Gaza and the release of all hostages, while the United States abstained from the vote.

The remaining 14 members of the Council voted in favor of the resolution proposed by the 10 elected members of the Council. A round of applause rang out in the council chamber after the vote on Monday.

The resolution calls for an immediate ceasefire during the month of Ramadan, which ends in two weeks, and also demands the release of hostages taken by Hamas on October 7 when it led an attack on Israel.

“The bloodbath has gone on for too long,” said Ammar Benjameh, the representative of Algeria, the current member of the Arab bloc on the Security Council and one of the sponsors of the resolution. He said: “Finally, the Security Council bears its responsibility.”

The United States has repeatedly blocked Security Council resolutions imposing pressure on Israel, but has shown increasing frustration with its ally as civilian casualties mount and the United Nations warns of an imminent famine in Gaza.

Speaking after the vote, US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield blamed Hamas for the delay in passing the ceasefire resolution.

She added: “We did not agree with everything in the resolution,” which she says is the reason the United States abstained from voting.

“Some key amendments were ignored, including our request to add a condemnation of Hamas,” Thomas-Greenfield said. She stressed that the release of Israeli prisoners would lead to an increase in humanitarian aid supplies to the besieged coastal enclave.

Palestinian Ambassador to the United Nations, Riyad Mansour, addresses the Security Council [Andrew Kelly/Reuters]

The White House said the final resolution did not contain language the United States deemed necessary and that the vote did not represent a shift in policy.

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But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said the US failure to veto the resolution was a “clear retreat” from its previous position and would harm war efforts against Hamas as well as efforts to release Israeli hostages held in Gaza.

His office also said that Netanyahu would not send a high-level delegation to Washington in light of the new American position.

US President Joe Biden had requested a meeting with Israeli officials to discuss Israeli plans for a ground invasion of Rafah in southern Gaza, where more than a million internally displaced Palestinians reside.

White House spokesman John Kirby said the United States was “disappointed” by the decision.

“We are very disappointed that they will not come to Washington, D.C., to allow us to have a lengthy conversation with them about viable alternatives to their presence on the ground in Rafah,” Kirby told reporters.

He added that senior American officials will meet for separate talks with Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Galant, who is currently in Washington, on issues including hostages, humanitarian aid, and protecting civilians in Rafah.

Last week, Netanyahu vowed to defy US appeals and expand the Israeli military campaign to include Rafah even without their support.

“The crisis is not over”

James Bays, Al Jazeera's diplomatic editor, said this was still a “very important” development.

“After nearly six months…the vote, almost unanimously,” demanded a permanent and immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

“The United States has used its veto three times,” Baez said. “This time, the United States let it pass.”

He added: “Security Council resolutions are international law, and are always viewed as binding on all member states of the United Nations.”

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UN Secretary-General António Guterres said in a post on X that the resolution “must be implemented,” adding that “failure would be unforgivable.”

The vote came amid international calls to end the months-long conflict, with Israeli forces invading Gaza and humanitarian conditions in the besieged Strip reaching critical levels.

The United Nations said that more than 90% of Gaza's population of 2.3 million people were displaced, and that the conditions under the complete Israeli siege and bombardment pushed Gaza to the brink of famine.

More than 32,000 Palestinians have been killed in the Israeli attack since October 7, most of them women and children, according to Palestinian health authorities.

Israel began its military attack on Gaza after Hamas led an attack on southern Israel on October 7, killing at least 1,139 people, most of them civilians, and taking about 250 others hostage, according to Israeli statistics.

Palestinian leaders welcomed the adoption of the resolution, saying it was a step in the right direction.

The Palestinian envoy said the decision should be a “turning point” in ending the attack on Gaza.

Holding back tears, Riyad Mansour told the UN Security Council: “This must be a turning point.” “This must signal the end of this attack and atrocities against our people.”

In a statement, the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs called on the member states of the UN Security Council to fulfill their legal responsibilities to implement the resolution immediately.

“Vote for peace”

The Ministry stressed the importance of intensifying efforts to achieve a permanent ceasefire that extends beyond the month of Ramadan, secure the entry of aid, work to release Palestinian prisoners in occupation prisons, and prevent forced displacement.

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Hamas welcomed the decision and said in a statement that it “confirms its readiness to participate in an immediate exchange of prisoners from both sides.”

France called for more efforts to ensure a permanent ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.

“This crisis is not over yet. Our Council will have to remain mobilized and return to work immediately. After Ramadan, which ends in two weeks, it will have to reach a permanent ceasefire,” said France’s representative to the United Nations, Nicolas de Rivière.

The latest vote comes after Russia and China vetoed a US-sponsored resolution on Friday that would have supported an “immediate and sustainable ceasefire.”

Russia's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Vasily Alekseevich Nebenzia, said that his country hopes that Monday's resolution will be used “in the interests of peace” instead of strengthening “the inhumane Israeli operation against the Palestinians.”

He said: “It is extremely important that the UN Security Council, for the first time, demands that the parties adhere to an immediate ceasefire, even if it is limited to the month of Ramadan.” “Unfortunately, what will happen after that period ends is still unclear.”

Russia tried to push for the use of the word “permanent.” She complained that dropping the word might allow Israel to “resume its military operation in the Gaza Strip at any moment” after the month of Ramadan, which ends on April 9.

“We are disappointed that we did not succeed in this,” Nebenzia said.