March 25, 2024 | Flash Brief

U.S. Abstains From Ceasefire Resolution at UN Security Council

March 25, 2024 | Flash Brief

U.S. Abstains From Ceasefire Resolution at UN Security Council

Latest Developments

The United States abstained from a resolution that the UN Security Council adopted on March 25 demanding an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. The resolution, which the 10 non-permanent Security Council members proposed, “also demands the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages.” In total, 14 out of the 15 Security Council members voted in favor of the resolution. The measure passed three days after Russia and China vetoed a U.S.-drafted resolution calling for an immediate Gaza ceasefire, the release of remaining hostages, and a halt to Houthi attacks in the Red Sea. However, unlike the American proposal, the March 25 resolution neither acknowledges Hamas’s October 7 massacre nor explicitly ties a ceasefire to the release of hostages.

Expert Analysis

“The spin on this resolution doesn’t reflect what the resolution actually says. This resolution pretends October 7 never happened and Hamas isn’t a brutal terrorist organization. The United States has fundamentally shifted its policy from ‘no ceasefire without the release of hostages’ to ‘we’d like to see both, but they need not be connected.’ Hamas is never going to release hostages unless it faces major pressure — this resolution puts pressure on Israel and relieves pressure on Hamas.” — Richard Goldberg, FDD Senior Advisor

“Ceasefire is a nice slogan that obscures the true meaning of the resolution. Leaving Hamas in power will preserve the terrorist group’s ability to carry out massacres in the future, something Hamas leadership has promised to do. Anything short of dismantling Hamas will leave Israeli citizens unsafe.” — David May, FDD Research Manager and Senior Research Analyst

Russia, China Veto U.S. Resolution

On March 22, the United States proposed a Security Council resolution emphasizing “the imperative of an immediate and sustained ceasefire to protect civilians on all sides, allow for the delivery of essential humanitarian assistance, and alleviate humanitarian suffering.” While condemning Hamas’s October 7 attacks, the resolution expressed “concern that a ground offensive into Rafah” — Hamas’s last stronghold in the Gaza Strip — “would result in further harm to civilians” and would have “serious implications for regional peace and security.” U.S. Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield said that opposition by Russia and China to the resolution was “deeply cynical.” She claimed that “Russia and China simply did not want to vote for a resolution that was penned by the United States because it would rather see us fail than to see this council succeed.”

Previous U.S. Vetoes

As a permanent member of the UN Security Council, the United States has veto power — a power that Washington has exercised multiple times since October 7. In February, the United States vetoed an Algerian resolution that called for an immediate ceasefire without an agreement to release the hostages. Thomas-Greenfield explained that the resolution could “extend the fighting between Hamas and Israel, extend the hostages’ time in captivity, an experience described by former hostages as ‘hell,’ and extend the dire humanitarian crisis Palestinians are facing in Gaza.” The United States reportedly planned to veto an earlier draft of the March 25 ceasefire resolution that did not mention the hostages. However, it chose instead to abstain, explaining that “the final text does not have key language we view as essential, notably a condemnation of Hamas.”

Russia, China Veto Ceasefire Resolution at UN,” FDD Flash Brief

U.S. Vetoes One UN Resolution, Proposes Another Opposing Israeli Attack Against Hamas in Rafah,” FDD Flash Brief

U.S. Vetoes UN Resolution Falsely Accusing Israel of Aid Convoy Deaths,” FDD Flash Brief


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