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The UN Security Council passes a resolution for a ceasefire in Gaza


The UN Security Council has issued a statement urging for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, following a notable change in the US stance as it refrained from vetoing the measure.

The hostages' release was demanded immediately and unconditionally.

The council's recent call for a ceasefire marks a significant development in the ongoing war that started in October, following numerous unsuccessful attempts in the past.

The recent action taken by the United States highlights a noticeable rift between the country and its longstanding ally, Israel, regarding Israel's military campaign in Gaza.

The statement from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office strongly criticised the US for changing its position on the ceasefire and hostage release, accusing them of abandoning their previous stance.

"Unfortunately, the United States did not exercise its veto power on the new resolution," it stated.

According to the statement, the actions described have hurt the efforts to secure the release of hostages. It is believed that these actions have given Hamas a sense of optimism, as they may see international pressure on Israel as a means to achieve a ceasefire without having to release the captives.

Additionally, it was reported that Mr. Netanyahu has chosen to cancel the planned meetings between an Israeli delegation and US officials in Washington for this week.

In a recent statement, Israel's defence minister made it clear that the ongoing conflict in Gaza would not come to an end until all hostages were safely released. This firm stance reflects Israel's commitment to ensuring the safety and security of its citizens.

"After six long months, with a devastating toll of over 100,000 Palestinians killed and maimed, two million displaced, and the looming threat of famine, Mr Mansour expressed his frustration at the delayed response from the council, which has now finally demanded an immediate ceasefire," he stated.

Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist group that governs Gaza and initiated the war with a significant attack on Israel on 7 October, also expressed its approval of the resolution. The statement expressed a willingness to promptly initiate a prisoner exchange process, liberating detainees from both parties.

The group has stated that they will only release hostages if Israel agrees to release Palestinians currently held in Israeli prisons.

In Monday's Security Council vote, the United States abstained, while the other 14 members voted in favour.

In the past, the US had opposed resolutions that called for a ceasefire, arguing that it would hinder the ongoing negotiations between Israel and Hamas for a truce and the release of hostages.

However, on Thursday, the organisation presented its draft, which included a significant shift in its position towards Israel by advocating for a ceasefire.

According to US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby, the decision to allow the resolution to pass does not indicate a policy change. In his statement, he mentioned that the US supported a ceasefire but clarified that they did not vote in favour of the resolution. The reason behind this decision was the absence of condemnation of Hamas in the text.

In a press briefing following the passing of the resolution, Mr Kirby emphasised the clarity and consistency of their support for a ceasefire as a crucial component of a hostage deal. The structure of the hostage deal has been outlined, with the resolution recognising the ongoing negotiations.

According to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, the resolution must be implemented to achieve a ceasefire and ensure the prompt and unconditional release of all hostages.

According to his statement, the text carries legal weight for Israel but not for Hamas, given that the Palestinian group does not hold state status.

There have been allegations that the US has utilised its veto power to protect Israel within the United Nations.

Recently, there has been growing criticism towards Israel due to the rising number of casualties in Gaza. According to the health ministry run by Hamas, over 32,000 individuals, predominantly women and children, have lost their lives as a result of Israel's bombardment.

The US has urged Israel to increase efforts in delivering aid to Gaza, emphasising the dire food insecurity affecting the entire population.

In the ongoing conflict, hostilities escalated when armed members of Hamas breached the border and launched an assault on Israeli communities. Israeli sources report that approximately 1,200 individuals lost their lives in the violence, while 253 were taken captive in Gaza.

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