US denies Israeli claims that UNSC Gaza ceasefire resolution has harmed peace negotiations

US denies Israeli claims that UNSC Gaza ceasefire resolution has harmed peace negotiations
The US dismissed Israel's claim that the UNSC Gaza ceasefire resolution has led to a break down of current truce negotiations.
2 min read
27 March, 2024
US state department spokesman Matthew Miller swiftly dismissed Israel's criticism of the UNSC resolution [Getty]

The US on Tuesday denied Israeli claims the UN Security Council (UNSC) resolution demanding an immediate ceasefire in Gaza has damaged separate truce negotiations.

This comes after Hamas announced its rejection of the latest truce plan put forward by mediators from the US, Qatar and Egypt at talks in Doha.

The group said in a statement that it was sticking to its original demands for “a permanent ceasefire that would lead to a full withdrawal” of Israeli forces from Gaza and the return of displaced Palestinians to their homes.

Israel then withdrew its delegation from the talks.

The office of Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu issued a statement saying Hamas’s position “clearly demonstrates its utter disinterest in a negotiated deal and attests to the damage done by the UN Security Council's resolution”.

However, the US quickly countered the Israeli narrative, with State Department spokesman Matthew Miller clarifying that Hamas’s response had been prepared prior to the UNSC resolution.

“That [Israeli] statement is inaccurate in almost every respect and it is unfair to the hostages and their families,” Miller told reporters in Washington.

“The description of Hamas's response that has been aired in the public is all from news reports. It's not the actual substance of the response. I can tell you that response was prepared before the UN Security Council vote, not after it.”

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Israel is furious with the US following Washington’s abstention that allowed the UNSC to adopt a resolution demanding an immediate ceasefire in Israel’s war on Gaza.

The resolution mandated not only a halt to hostilities but also the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages and the swift delivery and expansion of humanitarian aid efforts for the starving Palestinian enclave.

The US, a key ally and military backer of Israel, which has vetoed all previous ceasefire resolutions, initially critiqued the resolution for not condemning Hamas over its allegedly initiation of the conflict on 7 October.

However, demonstrating its growing frustration with Israel’s approach to the war, the US chose to abstain from the vote, saying it was in full agreement with the resolution’s principal demands.

There are fears that Israel could walk away entirely from negotiations in defiance of the US’s decision to let the UNSC ceasefire resolution pass, but Qatar, Egypt and the Biden administration claim this is not the case.

The three interlocutors describe the current situation as a “pause” in negotiations and expect the talks to resume in a few days, according to Axios.