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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Gaza War: UN Security Council Urges Immediate Ceasefire for Ramzan

The United States, an ally of Israel that has vetoed earlier drafts, abstained, and the UN Security Council (UNSC) for the first time on Monday urged an immediate ceasefire after more than five months of fighting.

Drawing unusual applause in the often staid United Nations Security Council (UNSC), all 14 other members voted in favor of the resolution which “demands an immediate ceasefire” for the ongoing Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

The resolution requests that the ceasefire result in a “lasting, sustainable ceasefire” and that the captives taken on October 7 by Hamas and other militants be released.

Russia abruptly took issue with the phrase “permanent” ceasefire being removed and sought a vote, which was unsuccessful in passing.

Algeria, the current Security Council member of the Arab bloc, collaborated with a wide range of nations, including Slovenia and Switzerland, to craft the victorious resolution.

Previous attempts for a ceasefire have been vetoed by the US, but it has expressed increasing dissatisfaction with Israel despite its declared intentions to extend its military operation to the crowded southern city of Rafah.

Friday marked a shift in the United States’ attitude toward its Middle Eastern ally, as it proposed a resolution recognizing “the imperative” of a “immediate and sustained ceasefire.”

However, China and Russia vetoed that document, criticizing it along with Arab states for not going so far as to urge that Israel immediately end its attack in Gaza.

In an effort to strike a balance between providing Israel with military support and expressing dissatisfaction with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as the number of civilian deaths in the Gaza Strip rises, the United States has repeatedly rejected ceasefire resolutions.

In contrast to the text from Friday, the new resolution’s request for a ceasefire has nothing to do with the ongoing negotiations—which are being spearheaded by Qatar with assistance from Egypt and the United States—to end hostilities in exchange for Hamas freeing its hostages.

The Security Council has drawn criticism from Israel for earlier decisions that did not expressly denounce Hamas.

Approximately 1,160 persons, primarily civilians, lost their lives in the October 7 attack on Israel by the Palestinian militant Hamas, according to an AFP count of Israeli casualties.

Additionally, the terrorists took 250 hostages, of whom Israel estimates that 130 are still in Gaza, 33 of whom are thought to be dead.

The health ministry in the zone controlled by Hamas reports that over 32,000 individuals have died as a result of Israel’s military effort to destroy Hamas, the majority of them were women and children.

Since the attacks on October 7, the Security Council has been divided on the Israel-Hamas conflict, passing only two of eight resolutions, both of which centered on humanitarian assistance.

Furthermore, it appears that the resolutions have had no impact on the ground, where UN staff report that Israel is still obstructing aid convoys despite experts’ warnings of impending starvation.

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