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HomeWorldUN Security Council Calls for Urgent Gaza Ceasefire as US Abstains

UN Security Council Calls for Urgent Gaza Ceasefire as US Abstains

The United Nations Security Council has taken a significant step by calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, as the United States refrained from vetoing the measure. The resolution also demands the prompt and unconditional release of all hostages, marking the first time the council has made such a call since the conflict began in October, following several unsuccessful attempts. The resolution imposes an obligation on Israel to halt its military operations for the remainder of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

A statement from the office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu criticized the US for not vetoing the resolution, accusing it of abandoning its previous position that linked a ceasefire to the release of hostages.

As a result of the resolution, Mr. Netanyahu has canceled scheduled meetings between an Israeli delegation and US officials in Washington this week. Israel’s defense minister has stated that Israel will not cease its military campaign in Gaza as long as hostages remain in captivity there.

The Palestinian representative to the UN welcomed the resolution but criticized its delayed implementation, stating that it took six months and significant human suffering for the council to demand a ceasefire. Hamas, the governing body in Gaza, also welcomed the resolution and expressed readiness to engage in a process of exchanging prisoners with Israel.

During the Security Council vote, the US abstained while the other 14 members voted in favor of the resolution. The US had previously blocked similar resolutions, citing ongoing negotiations between Israel and Hamas.

However, the US decision not to veto the resolution does not indicate a policy shift, according to a spokesperson from the US National Security Council, who reiterated the US support for a ceasefire linked to hostage releases.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres stressed the importance of implementing the resolution to achieve a ceasefire and secure the release of hostages. Despite tensions, scheduled meetings between Israeli and US officials will proceed, with the US reaffirming its support for Israel in its fight against Hamas.

The October 7 attack by Hamas on Israel left approximately 1,160 people dead, the majority of whom were civilians, based on estimates from Israeli sources. Additionally, militants seized around 250 hostages, with approximately 130 believed to still be held in Gaza, including 33 presumed deceased. In response, Israel launched a military campaign aimed at eliminating Hamas, resulting in over 32,000 casualties, primarily among women and children, as reported by the health ministry in Gaza.

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