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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

UN Security Council calls for ceasefire in Gaza during Ramadan

The Security Council's resolution, passed by a majority vote of 14-0, calls for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza during Ramadan.

The United Nations Security Council has taken a significant step in addressing the ongoing conflict in Gaza by issuing its first demand for a ceasefire during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. The resolution, passed with overwhelming support, aims to halt the fighting and alleviate the suffering of civilians caught in the crossfire. However, the decision has sparked controversy and drawn strong reactions from key stakeholders, particularly Israel and the United States.

Resolution and Reaction

The Security Council’s resolution, passed by a majority vote of 14-0, calls for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza during Ramadan. It also demands the unconditional release of all hostages held by Hamas, the militant group governing the Gaza Strip. While the resolution garnered widespread international support, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed vehement opposition, accusing the U.S. of “retreating” from a principled stance by not vetoing the resolution. Netanyahu canceled a high-level delegation’s visit to Washington in protest, signaling a strain in diplomatic relations.

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U.S. Abstention and Diplomatic Fallout

The abstention of the United States, a key ally of Israel, from vetoing the resolution has raised eyebrows and elicited criticism from Israeli officials. The U.S. State Department defended its decision, citing the absence of condemnation against Hamas in the resolution text. However, the move has strained relations between the U.S. and Israel, with Netanyahu’s government expressing disappointment and concern over the perceived shift in U.S. policy.

Implications of the Resolution

The resolution’s call for a ceasefire during Ramadan is a crucial step towards de-escalating tensions and preventing further loss of life in Gaza. However, the absence of a linkage between the ceasefire and the release of hostages has raised questions about its effectiveness in resolving the underlying issues fueling the conflict. Additionally, the resolution’s temporary nature, limited to the duration of Ramadan, highlights the need for sustained diplomatic efforts to achieve a lasting peace agreement.

International Diplomacy and Negotiations

The passage of the resolution highlights the importance of multilateral diplomacy in addressing complex geopolitical challenges. Efforts by the U.S., Egypt, and Qatar to broker a ceasefire highlight the role of regional actors in mediating the conflict. While progress has been made in negotiations, challenges remain in bridging the gap between the parties involved and securing a comprehensive peace agreement.

Read More: Israel has ‘lost the war’ in Gaza even if it enters Rafah: Hezbollah leader

Beyond the diplomatic maneuvering, the humanitarian situation in Gaza remains dire. The escalation of violence has resulted in significant loss of life and widespread displacement, exacerbating an already precarious situation. Urgent action is needed to address the humanitarian needs of the civilian population, including access to essential services, medical care, and humanitarian assistance.