Israel ignores UN order, continuing genocide on Gaza as UK minister says resolution is binding

Israel’s actions fly in the face of international law yet again

James Wright by James Wright

 27 March 2024 –

UK Foreign Office minister Tariq Ahmad has said it is the government’s position that a UN Security Council resolution for a temporary ceasefire is binding.

The order didn’t include an end to Israel’s occupation of Palestine to pave the way for the claimed aim of a two state solution.

Instead, the Security Council resolution ordered a ceasefire for the month of Ramadan and for Hamas to release detainees. But it ignored the thousands of Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli jails.

Israel ignores UN Security Council resolution

The UK statement that the resolution is binding comes as Israel ignores it entirely, bombing people’s homes in Rafah, south of Gaza – the place Israel claimed was a safe zone.

The resolution passed over five months into Israel’s colonial and genocidal military campaign against occupied Palestinians. The US has previously vetoed three ceasefire resolutions at the UN Security Council.

The Security Council has five permanent members who can exercise vetoes – UK, US, France, China, and Russia.

Ahmad said in the House of Lords on 27 March:

It is binding. The United Kingdom’s place is clear… There has been speculation on this and the words on ‘binding’ or ‘nonbinding’. We are very clear: there’s two elements on this, a Chapter VII or a Chapter VI.

This was made under Chapter VI, but there is a convention which goes back to 1971 which confirms that those decisions which are passed by the UN Security Council are binding.

Under Chapter VI of the UN charter, states should uphold resolutions through peaceful means. But the UK is still licensing arms to Israel that total £574m since 2008.

The UK has also previously protected an Israeli minister from facing prosecution for war crimes. When he was Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in 2011, Labour leader Keir Starmer blocked the arrest of former Israeli foreign minister Tzipi Livni.

A permanent ceasefire and an end to the Israeli occupation

After the US failed to again veto the resolution, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu cancelled a Washington visit by two of his top advisors.

Although the US walked back its position, in contrary to international law, stating that the resolution was non-binding.

The resolution doesn’t go far enough. The Security Council must order a permanent ceasefire along with an end to the Israeli occupation of Palestine. This would help initiate lasting peace in the region.