After Israel’s last minute attempts to force another delay in the vote failed, the United Nations Security Council finally managed to pass a Gaza Strip ceasefire resolution with a 14-0 vote. The United States abstained from voting on the resolution.
The resolution calls for a “durable and fully respected ceasefire, leading to the full withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza.” It also calls for arrangements to prevent arms smuggling to militants and for the reopening of border crossings for “unimpeded provision” and distribution of aid in the Gaza Strip.
The Israeli government was reportedly concerned by the proposal before the vote, fearing it might harm their ability to further escalate their attacks. However, as the United States foiled two previous binding calls for an immediate ceasefire, though the current one was cautiously worded and only stressed the sense that an immediate ceasefire should happen. Israel has said it will not immediately comment on the move, and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said the military operation would continue.
The move appears to have drawn attention away from a separate, Egypt-sponsored effort to reach a ceasefire deal, talks for which began today in Cairo. That move didn’t seem particularly promising, however, as all major Israeli leaders appeared opposed to ending the ongoing attacks at this point.
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