UNSC calls for immediate Israel-Hamas ceasefire

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has unanimously called for an immediate ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip and demanded the release of all captives, with the United States abstaining from the vote. The resolution, supported by the other 14 council members, received applause upon its approval, targeting a cessation of hostilities for the duration of Ramadan and beyond.

US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield cited disagreements with the resolution’s wording, particularly the absence of explicit condemnation of Hamas, as the reason for the US abstention. This decision marks a departure from the US’s previous veto use against resolutions pressuring Israel.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu criticized the US’s abstention as a deviation from support, suggesting it undermines efforts against Hamas and the release of Israeli captives. In response, the US expressed disappointment with Israel’s decision not to send a delegation to Washington for discussions on alternatives to a ground invasion of Rafah.

The resolution aims to halt the nearly six-month-long conflict that has devastated Gaza, with the UN reporting dire humanitarian conditions and significant Palestinian casualties. Palestinian authorities have welcomed the resolution as a critical step towards ending the hostilities, while international efforts focus on securing a lasting peace and addressing the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.