UN Security Council Passes Gaza Ceasefire Resolution, US Abstains

In response to the US allowing the resolution to pass, Netanyahu cancelled a planned delegation to Washington to discuss plans to attack Rafah

March 25, 2024

The UN Security Council on Monday adopted a resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza for Ramadan and the release of all hostages.

The US abstained from the vote, and the other 14 members of the Security Council voted in favor of the resolution. The US had previously vetoed three resolutions calling for a ceasefire in Gaza.

The resolution demands an “immediate ceasefire for the month of Ramadan respected by all parties leading to a lasting sustainable ceasefire” and the “immediate and unconditional release of all hostages.”

On Friday, China and Russia vetoed a US-authored resolution that said it was “imperative” for a ceasefire in Gaza but only “in connection” with the release of hostages. US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield said the US didn’t vote in favor of the resolution passed on Monday because it didn’t agree with the language.

“We did not agree with everything with the resolution,” Thomas-Greenfield said. “Certain key edits were ignored, including our request to add a condemnation of Hamas.”

She also hinted that the US opposition was due to the fact that the ceasefire was not explicitly tied to a hostage release. “Any ceasefire must come with the release of all hostages,” she said.

White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby insisted the US decision not to veto the resolution did not amount to a change in policy and noted that the resolution is non-binding, so it won’t impact Israel’s military operations. But Israeli officials are fuming at the US for allowing it to pass. In response, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu canceled an Israeli delegation to Washington that was meant to discuss Israel’s plans to attack the southern Gaza city of Rafah, which is packed with 1.5 million Palestinians.

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“On the one hand, the resolution says that taking civilians hostage is in violation of international law, yet on the other hand — despite the fact that you know Hamas won’t listen to your calls and release the hostages — you demand a ceasefire,” Israeli Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan told the Security Council.

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