Benjamin Netanyahu Cancels Israeli Delegation’s US Visit Over UNSC Gaza Ceasefire Vote | World News

WASHINGTON: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called off a crucial delegation trip to Washington in response to the United States’ decision not to veto a United Nations Security Council resolution urging an immediate ceasefire in Gaza during the holy month of Ramzan. White House National Security Communications Advisor John Kirby expressed bewilderment at Netanyahu’s move, stating, “We’re somewhat perplexed by this decision.” Kirby, speaking at a press briefing on Monday, noted that while the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office suggests a change in U.S. stance, the Biden administration’s approach remains unchanged.

Kirby highlighted key points regarding the resolution: “Firstly, it’s nonbinding, thus posing no direct impact on Israel’s ongoing efforts against Hamas. Secondly, it does not signify a shift in our policy.” He emphasized consistency in the U.S. position and the prerogative to determine policy direction.

Netanyahu’s decision to scrap the delegation’s visit followed the US refusal to veto the UNSC resolution, prompting his office to criticize the abstention as a departure from prior U.S. stances at the Security Council. The Israeli delegation, slated for discussions on the Gaza conflict, was scheduled to convene in the U.S. this week. Meanwhile, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant is currently in Washington, expected to meet his U.S. counterpart Lloyd Austin.

UN Resolution On Gaza Ceasefire

Tensions between the US and Israel have escalated amid the conflict, exacerbated by disagreements over strategies concerning the Gaza Strip. The resolution, passed on Monday, calls for an immediate ceasefire during Ramzan and the release of hostages, though without linking the ceasefire to their release, unlike a prior U.S.-sponsored resolution.

Netanyahu’s office expressed concern that the resolution may embolden Hamas, stating, “The U.S. departure from its principled policy at the UN signals a shift.” The Prime Minister affirmed that failure to veto the resolution would prompt the cancellation of the Israeli delegation’s U.S. visit.

While the U.S. abstained from voting due to the resolution’s failure to condemn Hamas, it did not vote against it, citing support for hostage release and a humanitarian ceasefire.

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