GAZA CEASEFIRE NOW! – UN votes unanimously, only US abstains

This young child was among the casualties from an Israeli airstrike targeting a home in Rafah

‘THIS MUST signal the end of atrocities against our people,’ Palestinian Ambassador to the United Nations Riyad Mansour said yesterday.

He was speaking after the UN Security Council unanimously voted for an immediate ceasefire between Israel and Palestine in Gaza, with 14 votes in favour, none against and only the United States abstaining.

Mansour told the UN: ‘There is no humanity when our lives are treated as expendable. There are no rules without enforcement and Israel has been treated as a state above the law for so long that it feels it no longer has to hide when acting as an outlaw state.

‘From ethnic cleansing to genocide, our agony is caused by Israel’s actions but also by the impunity it has been afforded, by the fact countries have not taken decisive measures to stop it and many continue to call it and treat it as an ally even when it is committing such atrocities.

‘Mr President, we express our appreciation to all of you for having put forward this resolution and we welcome its adoption by the Council. We thank Ålgeria for representing us and all the Arab countries in this endeavour. We salute Arab unity in demanding an immediate ceasefire has prevailed.

‘This must lead to saving lives on the ground. This must signal the end of this assault, of atrocities against our people.

‘A nation is being murdered, a nation is being dispossessed, a nation is being displaced for decades now, but never at this scale since the Nakba. Never this openly. From 1948 to 2024 we have endured. We have survived, we have resurrected, only to face death once again.

‘Life must prevail in Gaza, must prevail in Gaza! Freedom must prevail in Palestine. For six months now every single Palestinian in Gaza has endured untold suffering, loss, pain and tragedy. This must stop now.

‘Palestinian hostages, Palestinian victims are not less deserving of compassion and empathy, of outrage and solidarity. They must be freed from terror and want, from siege and occupation, from death and destruction.

‘Families must be reunited and start to heal, at least from the wounds that can actually be healed. They must be given the chance to bury their loved ones, to mourn their loss, to rebuild what can be rebuilt.

‘Even if the ceasefire happened now and the siege was lifted now it would take generations to deal with the trauma and the devastation.

‘Mr President, now that this council has finally called for a ceasefire all forces should coalesce to make sure it is enforced.

‘Apologies to those who the world has failed, to those who could have been saved and were not. Save the lives of those who survived, against all odds. Tell them, help is on the way. Hold accountable those who inflicted such suffering upon them. End this injustice, end it now. All of this is long overdue and I thank you very much Mr President.’

Ambassador of Algeria representative Amar Bendjama said the UN Security Council is ‘finally shouldering its responsibility as the primary organ responsible for maintaining international peace and security.’

Louis Charbonneau, UN director at Human Rights Watch, said Israel ‘needs to immediately respond’ to the adoption of the UN Security Council resolution ‘by facilitating the delivery of humanitarian aid, ending its starvation of Gaza’s population, and halting unlawful attacks.’

Ahead of the vote, Israeli media reported its prime minister Netanyahu threatening that if the US doesn’t veto the UN ceasefire resolution he will cancel White House meetings by a visiting Israeli delegation to the US.

UNRWA confirmed yesterday that it has been barred by Israel from delivering aid to northern Gaza, where the threat of famine is the highest, with UNRWA commissioner-general Philippe Lazzarini warning the block makes ‘the clock tick faster towards famine’, and many ‘more will die of hunger and dehydration’.