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UN Security Council demands immediate Gaza ceasefire as US abstains

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Palestinian Ambassador Riyad Mansour addresses the UN Security Council [Andrew Kelly/Reuters]
The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) demands an immediate ceasefire between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas in the Gaza Strip and the release of all hostages as the United States abstains from the vote.

The remaining 14 council members voted in favour of the resolution, which was proposed by the 10 elected members of the council. There was a round of applause in the council chamber after the vote on Monday.

The resolution calls for an immediate ceasefire for the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, which ends in two weeks, and also demands the release of all hostages seized in the Hamas-led attack on southern Israel on October 7.

“The bloodbath has continued for far too long,” said Amar Bendjama, the ambassador from Algeria, the Arab bloc’s current Security Council member and a sponsor of the resolution. “Finally, the Security Council is shouldering its responsibility.”

The US had repeatedly blocked Security Council resolutions that put pressure on Israel but has increasingly shown frustration with its ally as civilian casualties mount and the UN warns of impending famine in Gaza.

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

“We did not agree with everything with the resolution,” which she said was the reason why the US abstained.

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

The White House said the final resolution did not have language the US considers essential and its abstention does not represent a shift in policy.

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

 

Derek Kanalo
the authorDerek Kanalo
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