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UN Security Council Passes Ceasefire Resolution Amid US Abstention, Urges Release of Hostages

by | Mar 25, 2024 | Politics | 0 comments

In a landmark move, the United Nations Security Council has approved a resolution urging for an immediate ceasefire during the ongoing month of Ramadan, which is set to conclude in two weeks. The resolution also demands the “immediate and unconditional release” of abductees held by Hamas, a significant development amid escalating tensions in the region.

The resolution garnered support from 14 countries and was met with applause upon its passing. Notably, the United States, for the first time since the outbreak of the conflict, controversially abstained from vetoing the proposal, a move criticized by some as cowardly and leaving Israel vulnerable to its adversaries.

Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, responded to the resolution by cancelling the departure of the Israeli delegation to Washington. At the same time, Hamas welcomed the decision.

The question of whether the resolution is binding has sparked debate among international law experts. Attorney Dr. Roi Sheindorf, a former deputy ombudsman for international law, posits that the decision falls under Chapter 6 of the UN Charter, rendering it non-binding. He emphasizes the political and diplomatic significance of the resolution, underscoring the united stance of the international community towards achieving a ceasefire.

On the other hand, Dr. Ido Rosenzweig, an international law expert, argues that despite the absence of sanctions and enforceability, the resolution is binding according to Article 25 of the UN Charter. Rosenzweig warns that non-compliance by Israel could result in repercussions, such as countries refusing to supply weapons.

A crucial aspect of the resolution is the apparent lack of explicit conditions regarding the ceasefire’s dependency on the release of abductees. Netanyahu’s office asserted that the US did not tie the cessation of hostilities to the release of hostages, marking a perceived shift in position.

Dr. Sheli Aviv Yeni, an international law expert, emphasizes the interconnected nature of the ceasefire and the release of abductees, stressing the need for all parties to work towards an agreement that encompasses both objectives.

However, it is difficult to envision an immediate ceasefire materializing in the near term, particularly given Hamas’ commitment to wage a war and their reluctance to adhere to Israel’s conditions, which include the release of all hostages and a temporary cessation of military actions.

Image credit: thehill.com

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