Israel-Palestine: UN Security Council welcomes ceasefire call; What's next?

Israel and Hamas called a truce and agreed to a ceasefire on Thursday, halting 11-days of hostilities that brought about widespread destruction in the Gaza Strip and left over 200 people dead.

Shivani

ShivaniBy Shivani

Published on 23 May 2021 9:23 AM GMT

Israel-Palestine: UN Security Council welcomes ceasefire call; Whats next?
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Israel and Hamas called a truce and agreed to a ceasefire on Thursday, halting 11-days of hostilities that brought about widespread destruction in the Gaza Strip and left over 200 people dead. The two states have maintained the ceasefire so far, even as many people remained sceptical.

The UN Security Council is welcoming the cease-fire between Israel and Gaza's Hamas rulers and calls for full adherence to the cessation of hostilities. Saturday's statement was approved by all 15 members of the council. It said the council mourned the loss of civilian lives resulting from the violence and stressed the immediate need for humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian civilian population, particularly in Gaza.

Hamas

At the same time, it is crucial to understand that a durable political solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict is possible only by bringing Hamas to the negotiating table. Designated as a terrorist organization by the US and several EU countries, Hamas had shown initial sign of moderation when it participated in 2006 legislative elections in the Palestinian territories. In the 2006 election manifesto, it dropped the call for the destruction of Israel for the first time. It is still far from recognizing Israel, but its stance has evolved over the years. Hamas has not given up armed resistance, but it offered a lasting ceasefire if Israel accepts the 1967 borders.

Despite winning 74 out of 132 seats and forming a government in 2006, Hamas continued to face international opposition. In 2017, it further moderated the radical language of its original charter by removing anti-Semitic statements from it. With timely mediation, these positive gestures could have opened a new leaf in Israel-Palestine relations. However, the opportunity was lost as the US and European countries did not move beyond their interest-based approach and self-imposed no-contact policy with Hamas.

The latest ceasefire provides yet another chance for the global community to find a durable solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict. The international community cannot escape its burden in a conflict that ensued following the UN general assembly vote in 1947 that partitioned the Palestinian territories into two separate states. The time to stop the endless cycle of violence in Israel and Occupied Palestinian Territories is running out. It is critical to remember that each time history repeats itself, the price goes up.

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Shivani

Shivani

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