Debit/Credit Payment

Credit/Debit/Bank Transfer

US Abstains as UN Security Council Unanimously Passes Cease-fire Resolution

March 26, 2024

by: Mike Wagenheim ~ JNS

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

The UNSC adopted a resolution demanding an immediate cease-fire to Israel’s war with Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Tuesday, 26 March 2024 | The United Nations Security Council [UNSC] unanimously passed a resolution that demands a cease-fire for the rest of the Muslim holiday of Ramadan [one of the Five Pillars of Islam when stringent disciplines are observed] and the release of all hostages being held captive by Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Washington abstained in the 14–0 vote on Monday. As one of the council’s permanent members, the US could have vetoed the resolution, which the 10 elected, non-permanent members [E10] of the council drafted and circulated.

The resolution “demands an immediate cease-fire for the month of Ramadan respected by all parties leading to a lasting cease-fire and also demands the immediate and conditional release of all hostages.”

It also demands compliance with international law in the treatment of detainees. It emphasizes the urgent need to expand the flow of humanitarian aid to Gaza and demands that ‘barriers’ be lifted to prevent it.

Ramadan lasts for about another two weeks.

The resolution appears to leave it open to interpretation whether the cease-fire and the release of Israeli hostages are connected.

Prior to the vote, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu threatened to cancel a high-level Israeli delegation to Washington if the US did not veto the resolution. After the vote, Netanyahu confirmed that he canceled the delegation.

The delegation was to discuss the Jewish state’s plans for a military operation in the southernmost city of Rafah, according to Israel, while Washington had said the discussion would be about alternatives to a military operation there.

The Israeli mission to the UN declined to comment to JNS ahead of the vote.

The US demanded a last-minute change to the resolution, with a text change from calling for a “permanent” cease-fire to a “lasting” one.

“Our vote does not represent a shift in our policy,” John Kirby, White House national security communications advisor, told reporters on Monday morning. “There is no reason for this to be seen as some escalation.”

When asked how the resolution didn’t represent a departure from prior US policy, given that it didn’t appear to link the cease-fire and hostage release, Kirby rejected the characterization of the question.

“I’ve looked at it. It does talk about the need for an immediate cease-fire and an immediate release of the hostages. That’s what we want,” he said. “Those are the same principles that we’ve been arguing for many months.”

Kirby said he has no information about Washington being notified about an Israeli delegation being canceled. He noted that Yoav Gallant, the Israeli defense minister, is in Washington.

“He’s meeting with Secretary [of State Antony] Blinken and he’s going to meet with Jake [Sullivan, the national security advisor] and he’s also going to get a chance to meet with Secretary [of Defense Lloyd] Austin,” Kirby said. “I have no doubt that in those discussions, we will have ample opportunities to talk with him about what’s going on with their planning in Rafah.”

“We were looking forward to speaking to an Israeli delegation later this week,” Kirby added. “I’ll let the Israelis speak to whether they’re coming or not.”

‘We Did Not Agree With Everything’

Asked if the vote would impact the already-scheduled meetings in Washington with Gallant that had yet to occur, Kirby said, “Why don’t we have the meetings and see how they go?”

“Those are pretty weighty meetings,” he said.

Washington has vetoed prior resolutions and amendments calling for a cease-fire, stating that their passage would upset or upend delicate Israel–Hamas negotiations.

While “acknowledging” ongoing brokered negotiations, the resolution passed on Monday was worded to de-emphasize those talks in favor of the urgency of a cease-fire.

“Colleagues, we appreciate the willingness of members of this council to take some of our edits and improve upon this resolution. Still, certain key edits were ignored, including our request to add a condemnation of Hamas,” stated Linda Thomas-Greenfield, US ambassador to the UN, explaining Washington’s abstention.

“We did not agree with everything in this resolution. For that reason, we were unfortunately unable to vote yes,” Thomas-Greenfield said. “We fully support some of the critical objectives in this nonbinding resolution. We believe it was important for the council to speak out and make clear that any cease-fire must come with the release of all hostages.”

Posted on March 26, 2024

Source: (Excerpt of an article originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on March 25, 2024. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Loey Felipe/UN Photo/