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Monday, June 17, 2024

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UN Resolution Demands Immediate Ceasefire In Gaza

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As the US decided not to veto the measure, reversing its previous stance, the UN Security Council demanded an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. Additionally, it called for the unconditional and prompt release of every hostage.

After multiple unsuccessful attempts, the council has finally called for a ceasefire since the battle started in October. The US action indicates that it and its partner Israel are becoming increasingly at odds over Israel’s Gaza offensive.

A statement from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office chastised the US for having “abandoned” its prior position that clearly connected a ceasefire to the release of hostages, in an extremely harsh remark. “Regrettably, the United States did not veto the new resolution,” it said.

While applauding the resolution, Palestinian envoy to the UN Riyad Mansour said it was long overdue. “It has taken six months, over 100,000 Palestinians killed and maimed, two million displaced, and famine, for this council to finally demand an immediate ceasefire,” Mansour said.

Hamas, the Islamist Palestinian organisation in charge of Gaza and the one that started the conflict on October 7 by striking Israel in a way never seen before, praised the agreement as well. It stated that it was prepared “to engage in an immediate prisoner exchange process that leads to the release of prisoners on both sides”.

Any release of the hostages has been conditioned by the group on Israel releasing Palestinian prisoners housed in Israeli jails.

The US abstained from the Security Council vote on Monday, while the other 14 members supported it.

Resolutions requesting a ceasefire had previously been blocked by the US, which claimed that doing so would be inappropriate at a time when Israel and Hamas were engaged in sensitive negotiations for a truce and the release of hostages.

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