Updated Mar 25, 2024 - World

UN Security Council passes Gaza ceasefire resolution, U.S. doesn't veto

Woman holding child amid ruins

Palestinians flee an Israeli bombardment in Gaza City. Photo: AFP via Getty Images

The UN Security Council passed on Monday morning a resolution demanding an immediate ceasefire in Gaza during the month of Ramadan and calling for the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages.

Why it matters: This is the first resolution demanding a ceasefire to pass at the council after four previous failures. The U.S. abstained rather than using its veto. All other members voted in favor.

Between the lines: The most recent failure was on Friday, when China and Russia vetoed a U.S. proposal. The dispute was over the U.S. insistence on linking the ceasefire call to a hostage deal and condemnation of Hamas.

  • The U.S. planned to veto any resolution that called for a ceasefire without mentioning the hostages.
  • The U.S. did not veto Monday's resolution because it links the two issues, according to one of the diplomats, though the language is different than the resolution the U.S. put forward.
  • The U.S. mission to the UN declined to comment.

Zoom in: The resolution, obtained by Axios prior to passage, was tabled by the non-permanent members of the security council: Algeria, Ecuador, Guyana, Japan, Malta, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, Slovenia, South Korea and Switzerland.

  • It stresses that all parties must comply with their obligations under international law, "deplores" all attacks against civilians and "all acts of terrorism," and notes that it is illegal to take hostages under international law.
  • The authors also express deep concern "about the catastrophic humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip," and calls for more efforts to expand humanitarian aid and protect civilians.
  • The resolution "demands an immediate ceasefire for the month of Ramadan respected by all parties leading to a permanent sustainable ceasefire, and also demands the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages."

The latest: Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu canceled a visit by his senior advisers to the White House later this week to protest the U.S. decision not to block the resolution, which he claimed did not condition the ceasefire call on the release of hostages.

  • President Biden had invited the delegation to discuss alternatives to an Israeli invasion of Rafah, where more than one million Palestinians are sheltering.
  • UN Ambassador Linda Thomas Greenfield offered assurances after the vote that the resolution meant the ceasefire must come as part of a hostage deal, but Netanyahu still followed through on a threat to cancel the meetings.
  • White House spokesperson John Kirby denied there was any shift in U.S. policy and told reporters the Biden administration is "very disappointed" about Netanyahu's decision.

Go deeper: Blinken warns Bibi "you need a coherent plan" or face disaster in Gaza

Editor's note: This story was updated with Netanyahu's comments, and updated again when the resolution passed.

Go deeper