Gaza: UNSC's two-week ceasefire resolution passed; not nearly enough to respond to overwhelming humanitarian needs

After more than five months, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) finally passed a resolution yesterday calling for an immediate ceasefire to the conflict in Gaza during the month of Ramadan, which ends on April 9.

The resolution passed with 14 votes in its favor. The United States—which has vetoed several ceasefire resolutions—abstained from today’s vote, making the passage of the resolution possible. The resolution also calls for the immediate and unconditional release of hostages and “the urgent need to expand the flow” of aid into Gaza.

Avril Benoît, executive director of Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières in the United States (MSF-USA), said today:

“After months of delay and at immense cost to the more than two million civilians living in Gaza, the UN Security Council has finally adopted a resolution demanding an immediate ceasefire during the month of Ramadan. This is a constructive step that must be followed by action, but a two-week ceasefire is not nearly enough time to respond to the overwhelming humanitarian needs. We repeat our urgent demand for a sustained ceasefire now."

"In the meantime, Council members must ensure that the ceasefire is put into action immediately and doesn’t end up being merely words on paper.

We have already seen two Security Council resolutions (2712 and 2720) focused on the humanitarian emergency in Gaza be largely disregarded by the government of Israel. Council members, individually and as a collective, must ensure that the parties comply with the provisions of the resolution.

The protection of civilians and of civilian infrastructure, along with humanitarian access, cannot be conditioned on any other issue. Council members must take this opportunity to stop the collective punishment of Gazan civilians.

Even as Council members voted in favor of this crucial resolution, the Israeli military has continued its attacks on civilians, its assault on hospitals, and its obstruction of humanitarian access. Hospitals that were brought back online are once again under assault and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA)—the principal provider and administrator of humanitarian assistance in Gaza—continues to have its funding slashed and operations restricted.”