April 20, 2024

Lukmaan IAS

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STOP THE WAR: ON THE U.N. SECURITY COUNCIL’S CALL FOR A GAZA CEASEFIRE

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THE CONTEXT: The resolution, known as Resolution 2728, was tabled by the UN Security Council’s 10 non-permanent members (E-10) and was adopted recently. The resolution came five and half months after Israel’s assault on Gaza began, in which thousands of Palestinians have been killed and more than 90% of the enclave’s population displaced and facing hunger crisis.

KEY PROVISIONS OF RESOLUTION 2728

  • The United States, which has vetoed every U.N. resolution earlier that called for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza did not vote in favour this time. This signals a change in the USA administration’s policy towards the war.
  • All other members of the UNSC, including Britain voted for the resolution.

PROVISIONS OF RESOLUTION 2728:

Resolution 2728 includes several key provisions aimed at ending the violence and addressing the humanitarian crisis in Gaza:

  • Immediate ceasefire during the month of Ramadan
  • Immediate and unconditional release of hostages
  • Urgent need to expand the flow of aid into Gaza
  • The resolution emphasizes the importance of ensuring humanitarian access to Gaza to alleviate the suffering of the Palestinian population.

ISRAEL STANCE:

  • Israel responded in anger by cancelling a planned visit Prime Minister’s close cabinet aides to Washington but this indicates Israel’s weakness.
  • Israeli leaders have repeatedly said in recent weeks that an invasion of Rafah, the southernmost town where some 1.4 million Palestinians have been attacked was unavoidable.

Background:

  • The latest war was triggered by Hamas’s October 7, 2023 cross-border attack where at least 1,200 Israelis were killed. But what Israel did in subsequent months was to punish the entire population of Gaza for what Hamas did turned international public opinion against it.
  • After months-long fighting, Israel has turned much of Gaza into rubble, but has neither destroyed Hamas nor rescued hostages.
  • The prolonged war has made Prime Minister immensely unpopular and his coalition partners are at war with one another.
  • The war has also increased Israel’s isolation, with tensions rising in its ties even with its close partners, including the U.S. If Israel continues the war with no clear end in sight, it will only worsen the domestic and international challenges.

BROADER ISSUES:

  • Regional Instability: The conflict in Gaza has contributed to regional instability and heightened tensions. It has the potential to spill over into neighbouring countries and rise in existing regional conflicts
  • Humanitarian Crisis: The conflict has led to a humanitarian crisis in Gaza, with casualties, displacement, and infrastructure damage. The international community has been called upon to address the immediate humanitarian needs of the Palestinian population.
  • Displacement and Destruction: Both sides harbour mutual suspicions and apprehensions of violence, such as missile strikes from Gaza and Israeli defence actions. Outside political agendas and preconceptions can occasionally intensify tensions.
  • Financial inequalities: Economic restrictions and imbalances lead to escalation of tensions and provoke more disputes.

THE WAY FORWARD:

  • Israel stand: Israel must adhere to the UNSC resolution for a ceasefire by making an objective assessment of the situation. The October 7 attack itself was a massive intelligence and security failure for which Israeli Prime Minister should take responsibility. Israel should take the message from the UNSC seriously to stop the war, allow urgent humanitarian assistance into Gaza and continue talks with Hamas through international mediators for both the release of all hostages and the withdrawal of his troops from the enclave.
  • Collective efforts: The ongoing conflict has escalated geopolitical tensions. Achieving a peaceful resolution of the issue requires collective efforts from the international community. A balanced approach is crucial, not only for fostering favourable relations with Arab countries but also for maintaining a constructive engagement with
  • India’s approach: India’s role in multilateral organizations requires efforts in cooperation with all related parties to achieve security and stability in the Middle East and West Asia. India should use multilateral forums to act as a mediator to resolve the Israel-Palestine issue.
  • Abraham accords: The recent normalization agreements between Israel and the UAE, Bahrain, Sudan, and Morocco, known as the Abraham Accords, are the steps in the right direction. All regional powers should envisage peace between the two countries on line of Abraham Accords.

THE CONCLUSION:

The adoption of the UN Security Council resolution is only the first step in the process of achieving a lasting ceasefire and peace in Gaza. The UN, member states, and parties to the conflict must now work together to implement the resolution’s provision and create conditions conducive to a negotiated settlement.

UPSC PREVIOUS YEAR QUESTIONS

Q.1 “India’s relations with Israel have, of late, acquired a depth and diversity, which cannot be rolled back.” Discuss. (2018)

Q.2 ‘Too little cash, too much politics, leave UNESCO fighting for life.’ Discuss the statement in the light of the US’ withdrawal and its accusation of the cultural body as being ‘anti-Israel bias’.(2019)

MAINS PRACTICE QUESTION

Q.1 The recent adoption of resolution for immediate ceasefire in Gaza by UN Security Council reflects its balanced approach to international conflicts and underscores its commitment to principles of diplomacy and negotiated resolution to complex global issues. Comment.

SOURCE: https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/editorial/stop-the-war-on-the-un-security-council-call-for-a-gaza-ceasefire/article67994664.ece

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