Wednesday, April 17, 2024

UN SC passes resolution demanding ‘an immediate ceasefire’ during Ramadan after US abstains from voting

The United Nations Security Council on Monday finally adopted a resolution demanding an immediate ceasefire in Gaza for the month of Ramadan leading to a lasting sustainable ceasefire, and the immediate, unconditional release of all hostages. The United States abstained from the vote.

Reacting immediately after the vote, Secretary-General António Guterres said on X that the long-awaited resolution must be implemented; the Council’s failure to do so “would be unforgivable.”

The resolution is a bare-bones call for a ceasefire during the month of Ramadan, which began on 11 March. It also demands the return of about 130 hostages seized in Israel and held in Gaza and emphasizes the urgent need to allow ample lifesaving aid to reach a starving population in the besieged enclave.

The demand to end hostilities has so far eluded the Council following the Israeli forces’ invasion of Gaza in October after Hamas attacks left almost 1,200 dead and 240 taken hostage.

Since then, Israel’s daily bombardment alongside its near total blockade of water, electricity and lifesaving aid has killed more than 32,000 Palestinians in Gaza,  according to the health ministry there, where a recent UN-backed report showed an imminent famine unfolding.

Algeria’s Ambassador Amar Benjama said the draft will put an end to the massacres that have been going on for five months.

“The bloodbath has gone far too long,” he said. “Finally, the Security Council is finally responding to the calls of the international community and the Secretary-General.”

The draft conveys a clear message to the Palestinian people, he said.

“The international community, in its entirety, did not abandon you,” he said. “Adopting today’s resolution is on the beginning to meet the aspiration of the Palestinian people…to put an end of the bloodbath without any conditions.”

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