Israel-Hamas war: US applauds adoption of ceasefire resolution and continues to call for release of hostages

CTN News
A Palestinian man carries a child casualty following Israeli strikes on houses in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa

On Monday, March 25, 2024, the United Nations Security Council adopted a resolution “aimed at achieving a cessation of hostilities, securing the release of hostages and increasing the provision and distribution of humanitarian assistance”.

The text, presented by the 10 non-permanent members of the Council, received 14 votes in favor and one abstention (United States).

Through this resolution, the members of the Security Council express their “deep concern at the catastrophic humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip” and take note of the ongoing diplomatic efforts led by Egypt, the United States and Qatar, “aimed at achieving a cessation of hostilities, securing the release of hostages and increasing the provision and distribution of humanitarian aid”.

Following the vote, US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield began by thanking the members of the UN Security Council for voting in favor of what she called “the diplomatic efforts of the United States, Qatar and Egypt to achieve an immediate and durable ceasefire and secure the immediate release of all hostages, and to help alleviate the immense suffering of Palestinian civilians in Gaza, who are in urgent need of protection and vital humanitarian assistance”.

“The United States fully supports these essential objectives”, says the diplomat, deploring China and Russia’s decision to reject the latest resolution put before the Security Council last week.

“U.S. support for these goals is not merely rhetorical. We are working tirelessly to achieve them on the ground, through diplomacy, because we know that it is only through diplomacy that we can move this agenda forward.”

With this resolution, all is not won, nuances the American diplomat. In this sense, Linda Thomas-Greenfield is clear.

“A ceasefire could have been agreed several months ago if Hamas had been willing to release the hostages. Instead, they have continued to put obstacles in the way of peace, setting up roadblocks, hiding in tunnels under Gaza towns and civilian infrastructure, and concealing themselves among the civilian population,” she says.

She considers it necessary for all Security Council members and UN member states to speak out and demand unequivocally that Hamas accept the proposed agreement, while remaining pessimistic about the behavior of Russia and China on this point.

“Last week, Russia and China vetoed a resolution condemning the horrific attacks of October 7, 2023, which triggered this new phase in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Yet all the other members of the Security Council voted in favor of the resolution. This, she says, is proof that these two permanent members of the Security Council were not really interested in promoting lasting peace through diplomatic efforts”, argues Mrs. Thomas-Greenfield.

She also took the opportunity to deplore the behavior of Russia and China, who, she believes, are using this devastating conflict as a political weapon, in an attempt to divide the Council at a time when we need to come together.

“This is deeply, deeply cynical, and we should all say so,” she hammered.

The resolution passed by the UN Security Council on Monday is non-binding. The Israeli government has the right to submit to it, or to ignore the provisions of the text supported by 10 non-permanent members of the Council.

The five permanent members of the Council are: China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Once again, the United States is calling for the release of the hostages held by Hamas. According to Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, this could bring about a lasting end to the conflict.

“Dear colleagues, we are meeting during the holy month of Ramadan. This should be a time of peace for Muslim communities around the world, just as October 7, 2023 should have been a day of peace for Jewish communities.”

Further on, she insists that the resolution was rightly passed during the month of Ramadan. Thomas-Greenfield sees this as an opportunity to promote peace.

“We must therefore put pressure on Hamas to release the hostages. This is the only way to achieve a ceasefire and lasting peace”, she concludes.

The US Ambassador to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, also expressed her deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of the victims of last week’s terrorist attack in Moscow, where more than 137 people were killed in a concert hall.

“We condemn terrorism in all its forms and stand in solidarity with the Russian people as they mourn the loss of life in this horrific event,” she said.

On the 171st day of the war between Israel and Hamas, which began on Saturday October 7, 2023, more than 32,000 Palestinians have been killed, according to HAMAS authorities. The majority of victims are civilians, according to the latest death toll released on Monday March 25 by the Gaza Strip health ministry.

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