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Foot in Your Mouth

Never missing a chance to set a lower standard of duplicity, the U.S. now says the U.N. Security Council resolution demanding a ceasefire in Gaza is non-binding (which is not true).

Mary ManleyRiyad Mansour, Permanent Observer of Palestine to the UN, noted that it has taken six months with more than 100,000 Palestinians killed and injured, to come to a decision to demand a ceasefire. On Monday, the United Nations Security Council passed a resolution demanding an immediate ceasefire for the month of Ramadan, and the “immediate and unconditional release of hostages” as well as the expansion of aid in the Gaza Strip. The US abstained from the vote while 14 voted in favor and no parties voted against the resolution. The act was significant as the US has vetoed three previous resolutions with similar language.The Council rejected a Russia-proposed amendment calling for a permanent ceasefire.The passage of the statement raised hopes that violence could finally come to an end in the enclave as Israel’s nearly seven month-long operation has left over 32,000 Palestinians dead, most of them thought to be civilians.However, US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller immediately tried to alleviate the blow to Israel telling reporters that the resolution is “non-binding”.

"It is a non-binding resolution," said Miller. "We didn't veto because we thought the language, as it relates to the cease-fire, and the release of hostages, was consistent with the long-standing United States position."

AnalysisUnited States ‘Mocking’ International Law, Creating ‘World of the Jungle’26 March, 22:44 GMTWhen asked about previous UN Security Council resolutions that Israel has failed to comply with, Miller said the US expects all of its partner nations to comply with international law.

"I can’t say that this resolution is going to have any impact on those negotiations,” said Miller, in reference to the ongoing negotiations in Qatar in exchange for the release of Israeli hostages and Palestinian prisoners. "But those negotiations are ongoing. They've been ongoing over the weekend and they've made progress."

According to the UN Charter, all Security Council resolutions are legally binding under international law.The US’ abstaining from the vote angered Israel into canceling a visit to Washington. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly accused the US of “retreating” from a “principled position” by allowing the vote to pass without conditioning the cease-fire on the release of Hamas’ hostages.UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on X (formerly Twitter) that the resolution “must be implemented” and that the failure to do so would be “unforgivable”.WorldUN Expert’s Report Accuses Israel of Committing Genocide in Gaza26 March, 22:19 GMT

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