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17 June, 2024
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White House faces pressure as UN Gaza ceasefire resolution passes

UN's Gaza resolution strains US-Israel relations


The UN Security Council has passed a resolution urging a ceasefire in Gaza, a move that led to Israel canceling a high-level visit to Washington after the US abstained from the vote.

As reported by Financial Times, this resolution, the first of its kind since the conflict began in October, calls for an immediate halt to hostilities for the remaining two weeks of the holy month of Ramadan.

Members of Israel’s war cabinet, Ron Dermer and Tzachi Hanegbi, were set to discuss the impending invasion of Rafah in the US, an action opposed by Washington. However, Israel scrapped the visit following the resolution's passage, revealing a growing divide between the White House and Netanyahu over Israel's military campaign against Hamas.

Prime Minister Netanyahu's office cited the change in the American stance for the cancellation, while US National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby expressed perplexity, emphasizing the US's consistent stance on ceasefire and hostage release.

Washington's abstention from the vote stemmed from its policy not to explicitly condemn Hamas. This departure from tradition signals a shift, as the US has typically shielded Israel from critical UN resolutions.

The resolution's failure to explicitly tie the ceasefire to the release of Israeli hostages drew swift condemnation from Netanyahu, who fears it may embolden Hamas.

With talks for a hostage-for-prisoner swap stalled, UN Secretary-General António Guterres underscored the imperative of implementing the resolution.

Hamas welcomed the call for an immediate ceasefire, emphasizing the need for a permanent cessation and the withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza.

The passage of this resolution reflects mounting international and domestic pressure on the White House to advocate for civilian protection and de-escalation in Gaza, amidst growing frustration over the toll of Israel's military campaign on Palestinian civilians.

Despite the canceled visit, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, already in Washington, is slated to discuss concerns over Rafah with US officials, signaling ongoing dialogue amid escalating tensions.

[With information sourced from Financial Times]

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