Israel and Hamas at war, day 171 | UN adopts ceasefire resolution

Israel denounced on Monday the abstention of its American ally which allowed the adoption, for the first time, of a United Nations resolution demanding an immediate “ceasefire” in the Gaza Strip threatened by famine, after more than five months of war between Israel and Palestinian Hamas.

Immediately after the resolution’s adoption, Israel canceled a delegation visit that was expected to Washington, saying the US abstention was “harming” both its war effort and its efforts to free the hostages.

“This is a clear step back from the consistent position of the United States in the Security Council since the start of the war” on October 7, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said in a statement.

Carried by non-permanent members of the Council, this resolution was adopted by 14 votes in favor and one abstention, that of the United States. Historical allies of Israel, the United States had, until then, systematically opposed the term “ceasefire” in UN resolutions, blocking three texts to this effect.

In recent weeks, however, they have shown signs of changing their tone towards their Israeli ally. A change of tone which led to a proposed resolution on the “need” for a ceasefire, rejected on Friday by Russia and China.

The Islamist movement Hamas “welcomed the call from the United Nations Security Council for an immediate ceasefire”.

This resolution “demands an immediate ceasefire for the month of Ramadan” – which already began two weeks ago –, should “lead to a lasting ceasefire”, and “demands the immediate and unconditional release of all the hostages.

Shortly after the vote, the White House affirmed that the American abstention was “not a change of course”. At the UN, the American ambassador estimated on Monday that a ceasefire in Gaza could only begin “with the release of a first hostage”.

France has requested a “permanent ceasefire” from the UN.

The head of the UN Office of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Martin Griffiths, particularly critical of the impacts of the Israeli offensive in Gaza, will resign for health reasons, a UN spokesperson announced on Monday.

“Martin Griffiths has informed the Secretary General of his intention to resign for health reasons,” said Farhan Haq, specifying that he would remain in his post until June to organize the transition.

107 deaths in 24 hours

The war broke out on October 7 when Hamas commandos infiltrated from the Gaza Strip carried out an unprecedented attack in southern Israel that resulted in the deaths of at least 1,160 people, mainly civilians, according to a count of AFP established from official Israeli data.

According to Israel, around 250 people have been kidnapped and 130 of them are still hostages in Gaza, of whom 33 are believed to have died.


A Palestinian family walks past destroyed buildings in Gaza City, March 25, 2024.

In retaliation, Israel vowed to destroy Hamas, in power in Gaza since 2007 and which it considers a terrorist organization along with the United States and the European Union.

On the ground, the situation continues to deteriorate in the narrow strip of land, overpopulated and subject to a total Israeli blockade.

On Monday, Israeli bombings left 107 dead in 24 hours, according to the Islamist movement’s Ministry of Health, targeting the towns of Rafah and Khan Younes (south) as well as the city of Gaza (north) and the center of the territory.


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