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UN Security Council passes ceasefire resolution on Gaza.

New York, 25 March, 2024 (GNP): The resolution calling for a cease-fire in Gaza throughout Ramadan was approved by a vote of 14-0 by the United Nations Security Council. The United States opted to abstain from voting, thereby enabling the resolution to be passed.

The U.S. decision to abstain from voting drew a swift response from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who called off a planned visit by an Israeli delegation to Washington for talks on Israel’s planned military operation in Rafah, in southern Gaza.

A delegation led by Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer and National Security Advisor Tzachi Hanegbi was scheduled to meet with Biden administration officials to address U.S. concerns about the Rafah operation and explore alternative strategies.

The Israeli prime minister’s office said in a statement, “Prime Minister Netanyahu made it clear last night that if the US withdraws from its principled position, he will not send the Israeli delegation to the US. In light of the change in the American position, Prime Minister Netanyahu decided that the delegation would not go”.

The experts interpreted the U.S. abstention during critical voting in the UNSC as an indication of growing division between the two close allies.

Read more: Gaza is now world’s biggest ‘open-air graveyard’, EU foreign policy chief

Washington is advising Israel against initiating an attack on Rafah, where over a million Palestinians are taking refuge. Israel contends that it needs to enter to dismantle remaining Hamas forces there.

The cease-fire resolution demands the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages held by Hamas, and an immediate ceasefire by Israel until the end of the Muslims holy month of Ramadan.

Monday’s vote came after numerous unsuccessful efforts by the Security Council to negotiate a cease-fire resolution, including the U.S supported one initiated  just three days prior.