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UN Security Council passes resolution demanding ‘an immediate ceasefire’ in Gaza during Ramadan
Photo Courtesy: UNICEF/James Elder

UN Security Council passes resolution demanding ‘an immediate ceasefire’ in Gaza during Ramadan

| @indiablooms | 25 Mar 2024, 11:06 pm

The UN Security Council on Monday (March 25, 2024) passed a resolution demanding an immediate ceasefire for the month of Ramadan, the immediate and unconditional release of hostages and "the urgent need to expand the flow" of aid into Gaza.

There were 14 votes in favour with the United States abstaining.

Gilad Erdan, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Israel, questioned why the Security Council “discriminates” among victims, recalling that it condemned the deadly attack on a concert hall in Moscow on Friday, but failed to condemn the Nova music festival massacre of 7 October.

“Civilians, no matter where they live, deserve to enjoy music in safety and security and the Security Council should have the moral clarity to condemn such acts of terror equally, without discrimination,” he said.

“Sadly, today as well this Council refused to condemn the 7 October massacre – this is a disgrace,” he added.

Erdan further note that for the past 18 years, Hamas initiated ceaseless attacks against Israeli civilians.

“Thousands and thousands of indiscriminate rockets and missiles against civilians,” he stressed.

He added that while the resolution failed to condemn Hamas, it did “state something that should have been the driving moral force”.

“This resolution denounces the taking of hostages, recalling that it in violation of international law,” he said, stressing taking innocent civilians hostage, is a war crime.

“When it comes to bringing the hostages home, the Security Council must not settle for words alone but take action, real action,” he added

Gaza’s ordeal must end, now: Palestine

UN Photo Ambassador Riyad Mansour, Permanent Representative of the State of Palestine to the United Nations addresses the Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question.

Riyad Mansour, Permanent Observer for the observer State of Palestine, said it had taken six months, with more than 100,000 Palestinians killed and maimed, to finally demand an immediate ceasefire.

The Palestinians in Gaza have shouted, cried, cursed and prayed, defying the odds time and time again. Now they live with famine with many buried under the rubble of their own houses.

“Their ordeal must come to an end, and it must come to an immediate end, now”, he told ambassadors.

He said the rule of international law was being destroyed by Israel’s crimes. Instead of implementing a mandatory order from the International Criminal Court (ICC), Israel has doubled down on its actions, he said.

He said Palestinians had been killed if they stayed, or left, and now Israel threatens an invasion of Rafah.

They have also continued their incitement of the UN, attacking the UN chief and the UN relief agency UNRWA. The UN must be defended, he said.

“This outrageous incitement has real life consequences for UN and humanitarian staff on the ground who are targets of attacks, who are killed, arrested and tortured”, he said.

It also has real life consequences for the blocking of UNRWA aid. “It is time for all these Israeli actions to trigger a serious international action”, he said.

He welcomed the adoption of the resolution and saluted Arab unity in demanding the ceasefire.

“This must be a turning point, this must lead to saving lives on the ground. This must signal the end of this assault of atrocities against our people”, said, declaring that his entire nation was “being murdered”.

Three main demands: Ceasefire, return hostages, let aid into Gaza

The resolution is a bare-bones call for a ceasefire during the month of Ramadan, which began on 11 March. It also demands the return of about 130 hostages seized in Israel and held in Gaza and emphasizes the urgent need to allow ample lifesaving aid to reach a starving population in the besieged enclave.

The demand to end hostilities has so far eluded the Council following the Israeli forces’ invasion of Gaza in October after Hamas attacks left almost 1,200 dead and 240 taken hostage.

Since then, Israel’s daily bombardment alongside its near total blockade of water, electricity and lifesaving aid has killed more than 32,000 Palestinians in Gaza,  according to the health ministry there, where a recent UN-backed report showed an imminent famine unfolding.

Guterres calls for a lasting peace

With “starvation bearing down” on Gaza, UN Secretary-General António Guterres on Monday repeated his call for a sustainable end to the conflict and the release of all remaining hostages amid “unprecedented and ongoing devastation” in the occupied enclave.

“The need is urgent,” Guterres said in Amman, alongside Jordan’s Foreign Minister Ayman Safady, as he pledged to keep pushing “for the removal of all obstacles to life-saving aid, for more access and more entry points” into Gaza.

The UN chief’s appeal came amid increasingly dire scenes reported by UN humanitarians and other aid partners, particularly in northern governorates, where the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that 27 children have now died from complications linked to severe malnutrition.

“We must face facts. There will be no sustainable humanitarian solution with an ongoing war as bloody as this,” the UN chief stressed.

“Let me repeat: nothing justifies the abhorrent October 7 attacks and hostage-taking by Hamas and nothing justifies the collective punishment of the Palestinian people.”

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