Security Council Approves Historic Ceasefire Call in Gaza

United Nations Approves First Ceasefire Resolution in Palestine Since Gaza War

The United Nations has approved a resolution calling for a ceasefire in the Palestinian territory after four similar initiatives were vetoed by the United States. This is a significant decision as it marks the first time since the Gaza war began that the Security Council has approved a ceasefire initiative. The resolution calls for an end to hostilities and the release of the hostages held by Hamas, which numbers 254 according to Israel.

The proposed resolution was put forward by the 10 non-permanent members of the Council and was supported by four permanent members – Great Britain, France, China and Russia – with the abstention of USA. This decision comes at a critical juncture in the war as Israeli forces are about to enter Rafah during Ramadan, a particularly sensitive period for Muslims.

The US has repeatedly urged Israel not to attack Rafah, with Secretary of State Antony Blinken stating last week that such an attack would risk isolating Israel and endangering its long-term security. However, disagreements between Tel Aviv and Washington about the war have persisted almost from the beginning, with Biden’s administration preferring a more selective offensive instead of Israel’s total war campaign.

The Israeli offensive has led to widespread devastation in Gaza, with over 32,000 deaths – more than 20,000 of which were civilians – and widespread famine caused by Israel’s decision to limit shipments of food and humanitarian aid. Despite these warnings, US military aid to Israel has only increased. This poses a challenge for Biden’s re-election prospects as it limits his popularity among young people and Arab Americans who may hold him responsible for not taking stronger action against Israel’s actions in Gaza.

In response to this setback in US positioning on ceasefire negotiations, Netanyahu announced that he will not send his delegation scheduled to leave for Washington on Monday to discuss a possible military offensive in Rafah as requested by US President Joe Biden. He argued that this move gives Hamas hope that international pressure will allow them to accept a ceasefire without releasing kidnapped people.

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