Thu, 18 April 2024
The Daily Ittefaq

UN Security Council passes Gaza cease-fire resolution

Update : 25 Mar 2024, 21:27

Almost six months into the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza, the UN Security Council on Monday passed a resolution calling for an "immediate cease-fire until the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

The resolution, which calls for the truce to lead to a "lasting, sustainable cease-fire," passed with the votes of 14 Security Council while the United States abstained, marking a key shift in Washington's stance.

The resolution also demands the release of all hostages taken captive during Hamas' surprise attack on Israel on October 7, although this demand is not linked to the demand for a cease-fire during Ramadan, which ends on April 9.

 The successful resolution was drafted in part by Algeria, the Arab bloc's current member on the Security Council, with a diverse array of countries including Slovenia and Switzerland.

"The Palestinian people have been suffering terribly for five months," said Algerian ambassador to the UN, Amar Bendjama. "This bloodbath has been going on too long. It's our obligation to put an end to it. Finally, the Security Council is taking responsibility."

Whether or not Israel will accept and implement the resolution is a different matter.

US absention marks change in position, Netayahu cancels Israeli Washington visit
The US abstention marks a significant shift in Washington's position almost six months into the conflict.

The US had repeatedly blocked previous cease-fire resolutions as it attempts to walk a line between supporting its ally Israel with military aid and voicing frustration with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as the civilian death toll in the Gaza Strip mounts.

Netanyahu threatened to cancel a planned visit to Washington by an Israeli delegation were the US not to veto the resolution, and promptly followed through following the vote, his government saying the American abstention "damages the war effort and efforts to liberate the hostages."

Nevertheless, the US warned that the resolution approved on Monday could hurt ongoing negotiations with Egypt and Qatar over a permanent cessation of hostilities between Israel and the militant-Islamist Hamas who governs the Gaza Strip.

US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield said Washington had abstained because it did not agree with everything in the resolution and because the text did not include a condemnation of Hamas, which is considered a terrorist organization by the US, the European Union, the United Kingdom and others.

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