The UN Security Council passed a resolution on Wednesday that called for a temporary pause to the fighting in Gaza. Tel Aviv said the call for a short peace was a decision “disconnected from reality and holds no significance.”
The resolution passed in the UN’s most powerful body in 12-0 vote. The US and UK did not vote for the motion because it did not condemn Hamas. Russia abstained over concerns that the measure did not make a strong enough call for peace, with Moscow’s envoy saying Washington was responsible for removing the word “ceasefire” from the text.
The resolution called for “urgent and extended humanitarian pauses” in Gaza to allow aid to reach Palestinian civilians and for “the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages held by Hamas and other groups, especially children, as well as ensuring immediate humanitarian access.” The AP reports the language in the resolution was watered down.
In response to the Security Council passing its first resolution on the war in Gaza, Tel Aviv said it would ignore the call for a humanitarian pause. “The decision is disconnected from reality and holds no significance,” said Israel’s ambassador to the UN, Gilad Erdan. “Israel already operates in Gaza according to international law, while Hamas terrorists will ignore the decision and certainly not act in accordance with it. Israel will continue its actions until the destruction of Hamas and the return of the kidnapped.”
Tel Aviv has resisted all calls or agreements even to pause its onslaught against Gaza. VICE News reports that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected a hostage agreement because he wanted to free the captives using the Israeli military. “It’s clear the Israelis wanted a ground offensive underway before considering this proposal, which has been on the table since the first days of the conflict,” a regional diplomat said.
A NATO official told the outlet: “Netanyahu can now look at the Israeli public and tell them his firm action with the ground offensive is what freed some hostages.” The source added that the prime minister “sees a short-term political gain to arguing the offensive forced Hamas into concessions but he doesn’t seem to fear explaining how hostages might have died in air strikes while the same deal was available.”
The New York Times reported on Wednesday that Tel Aviv raided the al-Shifa Hospital, Gaza’s largest and most modern medical facility, to pressure Hamas into accepting an agreement on Israeli terms. Tel Aviv has been pushing for a hostage release that includes the shortest pause to the fighting as possible.
Israeli War Cabinet Minister Benny Gantz says even if Tel Aviv agrees to a short pause to operations in Gaza, it plans to settle the war with its military. “Even if we are required to pause fighting in order to return our hostages, there will be no stopping the combat and the war until we achieve our goals,” he said.
This article was originally featured at Antiwar.com and is republished with permission.