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World

UN Security Council demands immediate ceasefire in Gaza

  • United States abstains, remaining 14 council members vote for resolution
  • Netanyahu cancels Israeli delegation's visit to Washington
Published March 25, 2024

UNITED NATIONS/JERUSALEM/WASHINGTON/CAIRO: The United Nations Security Council on Monday demanded an immediate ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian group Hamas and the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages after the United States abstained from the vote.

The remaining 14 council members voted for the resolution, which was proposed by the 10 elected members of the body.

Washington had been averse to the word ceasefire earlier in the nearly six-month-old war in the Gaza Strip and had used its veto power to shield US ally Israel as it retaliated against Hamas for an October 7 attack that Israel says killed 1,200 people.

But amid growing global pressure for a truce in the war that has killed more than 32,000 Palestinians, the US abstained from the vote on Monday to allow the Security Council to demand an immediate ceasefire for the month of Muslim fasting month of Ramazan, which ends in two weeks.

Gaza fighting rages as UN chief decries ‘horror and starvation’

It also demands the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages. Israel says Hamas took 253 hostages during its October 7 attack.

The Security Council resolution also “emphasises the urgent need to expand the flow of humanitarian assistance to and reinforce the protection of civilians in the entire Gaza Strip and reiterates its demand for the lifting of all barriers to the provision of humanitarian assistance at scale.”

Israeli army radio reported shortly before the council meeting started that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would cancel a planned delegation to Washington if the US did not veto the resolution.

The US has vetoed three draft council resolutions on the war in Gaza. It has also previously abstained twice, allowing the council to adopt resolutions that aimed to boost aid to Gaza and called for extended pauses in fighting.

Russia and China have also vetoed two US drafted resolutions on the conflict - in October and on Friday.

Israel’s Netanyahu cancels delegation to Washington

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he would not send a delegation as planned to Washington after the United States did not veto the UN Security Council proposal calling for a ceasefire in Gaza.

Blinken says Rafah offensive risks further isolating Israel globally

Netanyahu, according to a statement from his office, said that Washington’s failure to veto the proposal was a “clear retreat” from its previous position, and would hurt war efforts against Hamas in Gaza as well as efforts to release over 130 hostages.

“In light of the change in the American position, Prime Minister Netanyahu decided the delegation would not leave,” his office said.

The high-level delegation was due to travel to Washington to discuss a planned Israeli military operation in the southern Gaza city of Rafah.

US disappointed by cancelation of Israeli visit, White House says

Meanwhile, the United States is “very disappointed” by the cancelation of an Israeli delegation’s planned visit to discuss concerns over a possible offensive in southern Gaza, the White House said.

UN chief says there’s growing consensus to tell Israel a ceasefire needed

“We’re very disappointed that they won’t be coming to Washington, DC to allow us to have a fulsome conversation with them about viable alternatives to going in on the ground in Rafah,” National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told journalists.

Hamas welcomes UN Security Council resolution

Hamas said it welcomed the UN Security Council resolution calling for a ceasefire in Gaza and that it stood ready to engage in an immediate swap of prisoners with Israel.

In an update on Monday, Gaza’s Health Ministry said at least 32,333 Palestinians have been killed in Israel’s retaliatory military campaign in Gaza, with thousands more feared buried under rubble.

With the war now in its sixth month, the United Nations has warned that at least 576,000 people in Gaza are on the brink of famine and global pressure has been growing on Israel to allow more access for aid deliveries.

Comments

200 characters
Az_Iz Mar 25, 2024 08:31pm
Once hostages are released, killing to continue after Ramadan. Not good for the Palestinians.
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Az_Iz Mar 25, 2024 09:37pm
Ceasefire for two weeks, to get all the hostages released.So Israel can easily rampage through the Palestinians. If hostages are not released, then Palestinians will be blamed.
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Tahir N. Mar 26, 2024 12:17am
@Az_Iz, I hope you and the authors won't say bonded labor in IT industry will be good too. Elitist types want to stay on top by using any means.
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Tahir N. Mar 26, 2024 12:19am
@Az_Iz, I hope you and the authors won't say bonded labor will be good for IT industry. Elitist types want to stay on top by any means, fair or unfair.
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