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UN Security Council passes resolution calling for Gaza ceasefire

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has called for an immediate ceasefire between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas in the Gaza Strip, along with the release of all hostages. The United States abstained from the vote.

The resolution, proposed by the 10 elected members of the council, received support from the remaining 14 council members. After the vote on Monday, there was applause in the council chamber.

The resolution specifically urges an immediate ceasefire during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, which concludes in two weeks. It also demands the release of all hostages captured during the Hamas-led attack on southern Israel on October 7.

Ambassador Amar Bendjama of Algeria, the current Security Council member representing the Arab bloc and a sponsor of the resolution, stated, “The bloodshed has persisted for far too long. Finally, the Security Council is taking on its responsibility.”

The US, which has previously blocked Security Council resolutions pressuring Israel, expressed frustration with its ally as civilian casualties rise and the UN warns of a looming famine in Gaza.

Following the vote, US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield attributed the delay in passing the ceasefire resolution to Hamas.

The White House clarified that the final resolution lacked language the US views as essential, noting that its abstention does not signify a policy shift.

However, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office viewed the US abstention as a “clear retreat” from its previous stance, suggesting potential adverse effects on efforts to combat Hamas and secure the release of Israeli captives held in Gaza.

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