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Diplomatic Breakthrough: UNSC Calls for Ceasefire in Gaza Conflict

Courtesy/By: PARAM SAKET SARANG | 2024-03-27 20:44     Views : 74

Diplomatic Breakthrough: UNSC Calls for Ceasefire in Gaza Conflict

Introduction

On March 25, 2024, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) firmly called for an "immediate ceasefire" in the ongoing battle in Gaza, marking a significant development following more than five months of nonstop fighting. Amidst mounting tensions and humanitarian concerns, the resolution emphasised the pressing necessity of ending the hostilities that have afflicted the region, causing great suffering to civilians and worsening an already grave humanitarian crisis.

Notably, the UNSC added a critical humanitarian component to the resolution by demanding the release of all captives held by Hamas in addition to calling for a truce. In addition to putting an end to the bloodshed, this multipronged strategy addressed the condition of people who had been wrongfully imprisoned and emphasised the significance of respecting international law and human rights in times of war.

This event is especially significant since it represents a change in policy from the United States, a major actor in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In the past, the US had routinely exercised its veto power against any UN resolution urging an instant ceasefire in Gaza. This time, however, the Biden administration chose not to participate in the vote, indicating a change in strategy and a potential reevaluation of US policy in the conflict.

The United States' choice to abstain is indicative of a sophisticated comprehension of the nuances involved and an awareness of the urgent necessity for an alternative strategy to successfully address the conflict's underlying causes. It shows a readiness to consider other diplomatic approaches and to put the achievement of regional peace and stability ahead of firmly held political beliefs.

Together with the US's abstention, the UNSC's request for an immediate ceasefire is a critical step towards de-escalation and the eventual resolution of the conflict, as the international community struggles with the protracted crisis in Gaza. But there are still many obstacles in the way of achieving enduring peace and cooperation from all sides will be necessary to turn this diplomatic victory into real progress in the real world.

What resolution did the UNSC Pass?

It not only demands that there be an "immediate ceasefire for the month of Ramadan to be respected by all parties leading to a lasting, sustainable ceasefire," but it also specifies that Israeli prisoners held by Hamas must be released on October 7, 2023. It also highlights the importance of increasing humanitarian aid to Gaza and abiding by international law.

The UN Security Council adopts a resolution demanding an ‘immediate ceasefire in Gaza for the month of Ramadan’ leading to a lasting ceasefire, the ‘immediate, unconditional release of all hostages’ humanitarian aid access.

In Favour

Against

Abstained

Algeria

0

US

China

 

 

Ecuador

 

 

France

 

 

Guyana

 

 

Japan

 

 

Malta

 

 

Mozambique

 

 

South Korea

 

 

Russia

 

 

Sierra Leone

 

 

Slovenia

 

 

Switzerland

 

 

Uk

 

 

 

How did Israel react to the resolution calling for a ceasefire?

  • Ceasefire Not Conditioning Release of Hostages:- All UNSC members (except the US), including Britain, who had up to now rejected calls to support a ceasefire, supported the resolution by voting in favour of it. Disappointed that the agreement did not condition a ceasefire on the release of Israeli detainees under Hamas's control, Israel reacted angrily.

  • Planning the Rafah Attack:- In recent years, Israel has insisted several times that an assault on Rafah, the southernmost town where 1.4 million Palestinians are crammed into a small area, is imminent. It would be completely out of place for Israel to strike Rafah, which would result in yet further carnage, following the demands of fourteen UNSC members for an immediate ceasefire.

  • Lack of Long-Term Solutions in Advance Planning:- The war has further isolated Israel, causing tensions to rise even with its closest allies, the US and Britain. In addition to killing more Palestinians in the helpless, beaten, trapped, bombed-out Gaza, Israel will only exacerbate the internal and international problems it is already facing if the war is carried out with no apparent end in sight. With this agreement, Israel received no comfort and might end up getting further involved in the conflict, with no positive results expected in the medium or short term.

  • Not honouring the US's so-called “Red Line”:- Instead of adhering to the United States' declared "red line," which prohibits Israel from launching a ground invasion, Israel has intensified its rhetoric. It has even rejected the idea of a two-state solution. Such maximalist viewpoints are unworkable about the ongoing conflict as well as the larger Israel-Palestine issue. They undermine Israel's long-term objectives as well.

  • Unilateral Impositions:- The UN stated that although Hamas is not a state, the agreement was legally obligatory on Israel. The state of Israel has responded strongly to this, calling it a partial resolution that ignores Israeli concerns and is discriminatory. Israel contends that Hamas, not Israel, initiated and carried out the initial stages of the conflict.

 

Conclusion

The US abstaining from the recent UNSC resolution signals a notable departure from its previous stance on the Israel-Palestine conflict. Critics suggest that the resolution's lack of binding power diminishes its effectiveness, viewing the move as a strategic political manoeuvre ahead of elections. However, it also reflects growing tensions between the US administration and Israel's government.

Israel's disregard for US warnings against a potential ground offensive in Rafah highlights the deepening rift. By adopting staunch positions, Israel risks increased isolation and jeopardizes its long-term interests. This necessitates a reevaluation of its approach to the conflict to safeguard regional stability and its national interests.

Courtesy/By: PARAM SAKET SARANG | 2024-03-27 20:44