US insists UN resolution calling for Gaza ceasefire will have “no impact at all”

UN Resolution Palestine Gaza
Linda Thomas-Greenfield, United States Ambassador and Representative to the United Nations, votes to abstain as the United Nations Security Council passed a cease-fire resolution in Gaza during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, its first demand to halt fighting at U.N. headquarters, Monday, March 25, 2024. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

On Monday, the United Nations Security Council passed a resolution calling for a two-week ceasefire in Gaza, after the United States abstained from a vote on the resolution.

Biden administration officials made it clear that they allowed the resolution to pass because it is “non-binding” and will have “no impact at all” as the US continues to arm and support Israel’s genocide in Gaza.

The resolution declares that the Security Council “demands an immediate ceasefire for the month of Ramadan, respected by all parties, leading to a lasting sustainable ceasefire, and also demands the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages.”

US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield explained that, in the view of the US, the “non-binding” resolution “put pressure on Hamas” for the “release of the first hostage.” She added, “what this resolution means is that a ceasefire of any duration must come with the release of hostages.”

White House National Security spokesman John Kirby was even more explicit, saying, “It is a non-binding resolution. So there’s no impact at all on Israel and Israel’s ability to continue to go after Hamas.

“It does not represent a change at all in our policy,” Kirby added.

Asked by a reporter whether the US has “no longer got Israel’s back,” Kirby replied, “Nothing could be further from the truth. Of course, we still have Israel’s back. I mean, as you and I are speaking, we are still providing tools and capabilities, weapons systems, so that Israel can defend itself.”

He added that there is “no change by this non-binding resolution in what Israel can or cannot do in terms of defending itself.”

In other words, the United States will continue to provide weapons and funding for Israel’s ongoing genocide, which has to date left over 40,000 people dead, missing or injured and has destroyed or damaged most buildings in the Gaza Strip.

American imperialism has been the leading global enabler of Israel’s genocide in Gaza, providing the Netanyahu government with weapons, funding, and diplomatic air cover.

Earlier this month, press reports revealed that the Biden administration has provided over 100 separate arms transfer packages to Israel, each falling below a minimum threshold for reporting to Congress.

The secret weapons shipments include, in the words of the Wall Street Journal, “at least 23,000 precision-guided weapons, including Hellfire air-to-ground missiles, drones, and Joint Direct Attack Munition kits, which turn unguided bombs into ‘smart’ bombs,” as well as bunker-buster bombs.

In response to the US’s failure to veto the resolution, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, who was in Washington to coordinate Israel’s planned assault on Rafah, made it clear that Israel intends to move against the city where more than 1.5 million displaced Palestinians have been crammed together. “We will operate against Hamas everywhere—including in places where we have not yet been.” He added, “We have no moral right to stop the war while there are still hostages held in Gaza.”

In response to the UN vote, the Netanyahu government canceled a subsequent planned meeting between Israeli cabinet members and White House representatives in Washington.

“The State of Israel will not cease firing. We will destroy Hamas and continue fighting until every last hostage has come home,” Israel Katz, Israel’s foreign minister, said in a statement on Twitter.

The same day as the vote at the UN Security Council, Francesca Albanese, the United Nations Human Rights Council Special Rapporteur on Palestine, issued a statement saying there is evidence to support the claim that Israel’s actions in Gaza fit the criteria for genocide.

Her report presents a devastating picture of the horrendous impact of the US-Israeli genocide:

After five months of military operations, Israel has destroyed Gaza. Over 30,000 Palestinians have been killed, including more than 13,000 children. Over 12,000 are presumed dead, and 71,000 injured, many with life-changing mutilations. Seventy percent of residential areas have been destroyed. Eighty percent of the whole population has been forcibly displaced. Thousands of families have lost loved ones or have been wiped out. Many could not bury and mourn their relatives, forced instead to leave their bodies decomposing in homes, in the street, or under the rubble. Thousands have been detained and systematically subjected to inhuman and degrading treatment. The incalculable collective trauma will be experienced for generations to come.

In the strongest language yet used by the UN in condemning the genocide, Albanese’s report concludes that “there are reasonable grounds to believe that the threshold indicating Israel’s commission of genocide is met.” She added that Israel’s civilian and military leadership have attempted to “legitimize genocidal violence against the Palestinian people.”

Critically, Albanese pointed to the repeated statements of genocidal intent by Israeli officials. She wrote, “In the latest Gaza assault, direct evidence of genocidal intent is uniquely present. Vitriolic genocidal rhetoric has painted the whole population as the enemy to be eliminated and forcibly displaced. 150 high-ranking Israeli officials with command authority have issued harrowing public statements evincing genocidal intent.”

These include the declarations by Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant that the population of Gaza consists of “human animals” and the declaration by Israeli President Isaac Herzog that “an entire nation out there … is responsible” for the October 7 attack, adding that Israel would “break their backbone.”

In the midst of these developments, Israel is preparing its planned ground offensive against Rafah with a systematic bombing campaign. On Monday, Israel bombed a house in Rafah, killing at least 15 people, including at least four children.

Originally published in WSWS.ORG

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