Hamas praises UN Security Council resolution; Israel's UN envoy says it gives Hamas 'hope'

Israel's ambassador to the UN says all countries should have vetoed the resolution: 'Demand for cease-fire without making it conditional on the release of our hostages gives Hamas hope of achieving a cease-fire without releasing them'

Hamas on Monday evening welcomed the UN Security Council vote to pass a cease-fire resolution and called on the Security Council to put pressure on Israel so that it is committed to the decision. "We emphasize the importance of reaching a permanent cease-fire that will lead to the withdrawal of all Zionist forces from the Gaza Strip and the return of the prisoners to their homes," Hamas said in a statement.
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מועצת הביטחון של האו"ם
מועצת הביטחון של האו"ם
UN Security Council votes to approve Gaza cease-fire resolution
(Photo: UNTV)
The Security Council voted 14-0 with one abstention by the United States to approve a resolution demanding an immediate humanitarian cease-fire in Gaza during the Muslim Holy month of Ramadan that ends in two weeks and also calls for the immediate and unconditional release of the Israeli hostages.
Israel's UN Ambassador Gilad Erdan strongly attacked the Security Council's decision to call for a cease-fire in the war in Gaza without making it conditional on the release of the hostages held in captivity in Gaza by Hamas.
"Releasing the hostages should be the first priority of the Council. Your demand for a cease-fire without making it conditional on the release of our hostages harms the efforts to release them and gives Hamas hope of achieving a cease-fire without releasing them. All council members should have opposed this resolution," Erdan said.
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מועצת הביטחון של האו"ם
מועצת הביטחון של האו"ם
Israel's ambassador to the UN, Gilad Erdan, says no country should have voted for the cease-fire resolution
(Photo: AP Photo/Yuki Iwamura)
Israel's Foreign Minister Israel Katz likewise decried the passage of the resolution. "We will destroy Hamas and continue to fight until the last of the hostages returns home," he said.
This is the first proposed resolution since the outbreak of the war that has been passed by the Security Council and calls for an immediate cease-fire. The resolution is non-binding, however. The Security Council has previously called for additional humanitarian aid to be brought into the Gaza Strip and the release of the hostages, but those proposed resolutions have not passed.
The proposal was promoted by the 10 non-permanent-member countries on the council, and it received the backing of both Russia and China - and the support of the 22 countries of the Arab bloc at the United Nations. In a statement published by the Arab bloc countries before the vote, they called on the 15 members of the Security Council to "act with unity and urgency" and approve the proposal, "in order to stop the bloodshed, preserve human life and prevent further destruction and human suffering."
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נשיא ארה"ב ג'ו ביידן
נשיא ארה"ב ג'ו ביידן
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says the US under President Joe Biden has 'lost its way' in the UN
(Photos: Miriam Alster, Eros Hoagland / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AF)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a statement released by his office after the vote, said that the U.S. "has abandoned its policy in the UN today."
"Just a few days ago, it supported a Security Council resolution that linked a call for a cease-fire to the release of hostages. China and Russia vetoed that resolution partly because they opposed a cease-fire that was linked to the release of hostages. Yet today, Russia and China joined Algeria and others in supporting the new resolution precisely because it had no such linkage. Regrettably, the United States did not veto the new resolution, which calls for a cease-fire that is not contingent on the release of hostages," the statement said. "This constitutes a clear departure from the consistent US position in the Security Council since the beginning of the war."
The statement added that Netanyahu has decided to cancel sending a delegation to Washington headed by Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer.
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The U.S. Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas Greenfield said that the U.S. could not vote in favor of the resolution because it did not condemn the actions of Hamas on October 7 and by using the civilian population as a shield against Israel.
"We could have reached a cease-fire months ago if Hamas had agreed. But Hamas has put obstacles to peace. Hiding behind civilian infrastructure and civilian population. Today my request to the world: speak up and call on Hamas to accept the deal that is on the table. I don't expect it from Russia and China because they cannot condemn the terrorist acts of Hamas on October 7. Only last week they vetoed such a decision. They have shown again and again that they do not care about promoting peace and are not interested in making a contribution to the humanitarian effort. They are just using the conflict as a pretext to split this council," Thomas Greenfield told the Security Council after the vote.
"We support the critical objectives that appear in this resolution and believe that it was important for the Council to speak and make sure that any cease-fire should come with the release of all the hostages. The only way to end the conflict is to release all the hostages. A cease-fire and the release of the hostages will allow the influx of more humanitarian aid while the famine is expanding and to work on a permanent cessation of hostilities where Hamas can no longer threaten Israel, repeat October 7 and control Gaza," she said.
Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said ahead of meetings in the White House on Monday that Israel could not stop its war on Hamas while there are still hostages in Gaza. He also said in a statement that he would stress in his meeting with U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan the importance of destroying Hamas and returning the hostages home.
"We will operate against Hamas everywhere - including in places where we have not yet been. We will identify an alternative to Hamas, so that the IDF may complete its mission," he said. "We have no moral right to stop the war while there are still hostages held in Gaza."
Gallant added that, "the lack of a decisive victory in Gaza may bring us closer to a war in the north" where Israeli forces have been exchanging fire with Hezbollah fighters in Lebanon since the start of the Gaza war in October.
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דובר המועצה לביטחון לאומי עם דיסקית החטופים
דובר המועצה לביטחון לאומי עם דיסקית החטופים
White House Spokesman John Kirby says U.S. policy has not changed despite abstention
(Photo: AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
White House spokesperson John Kirby told reporters after the vote that U.S. policy had not changed, despite the decision to abstain on the resolution vote.
"Our vote does not reflect a change in our policy. We are consistent in our support for a ceasefire and the release of hostages. The wording does not include condemnation of Hamas, so we did not support it, but the decision reflects our opinion that a ceasefire and the release of hostages are bound together, so we abstained," Kirby said.
He said U.S. officials could continue to bring up Washington's concerns with Israeli policies in Gaza as part of ongoing discussions between the two governments.
"Nothing has changed about our view that a major ground offensive in Rafah would be a major mistake," Kirby also said.
Meanwhile, an unnamed U.S. official told a small group of reporters, including one from the Reuters news agency, that the United States is perplexed by Israel's abrupt decision to withdraw from the scheduled talks this week about Gaza and considers it an overreaction to the U.S. abstention from the UN vote. The official said that domestic political tensions in Israel probably were responsible for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's decision not to send an Israeli delegation to Washington for the talks. President Joe Biden has no plans to call Netanyahu about the decision nor did Netanyahu call Biden about it in advance, the official added.
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