UN Security Council for first time demands ‘immediate’ ceasefire in Gaza; US abstains


UNITED NATIONS: After more than five months of war, the UN Security Council for the first time Monday demanded an immediate ceasefire after the United States, Israel’s ally which vetoed previous drafts, abstained.

Drawing unusual applause in the often staid Security Council, all 14 other members voted in favor of the resolution which “demands an immediate ceasefire” for the ongoing Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

The resolution calls for the truce to lead to a “lasting, sustainable ceasefire” and demands that Hamas and other militants free hostages seized on October 7.

Russia at the last minute objected to the removal of the word “permanent” ceasefire and called a vote, which failed to gain passage.

The successful resolution was drafted in part by Algeria, the Arab bloc’s current member on the Security Council, with a diverse array of countries including Slovenia and Switzerland.

The United States has vetoed previous bids for a ceasefire but has shown growing frustration with Israel, including its stated plans to expand its military operation to the packed southern city of Rafah.

A change in tone toward its Middle Eastern ally was seen Friday, when the United States put forward a resolution to recognize “the imperative” of an “immediate and sustained ceasefire.”

But that text was blocked by Russia and China, which along with Arab states criticized it for stopping short of explicitly demanding Israel halt its campaign in Gaza.

The United States had repeatedly blocked ceasefire resolutions as it attempts to walk a line between supporting Israel with military aid and voicing frustration with leader Benjamin Netanyahu as the civilian death count in the Gaza Strip mounts.


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