Israel continues to bomb Gaza and block aid in defiance of UNSC ceasefire resolution

Virtually the entire world has welcomed the UNSC ceasefire resolution and has called for its swift implementationMarch 27, 2024 by Peoples Dispatch

Air dropped aid parcels falling in Gaza. Photo: WAFA news

Israel’s genocidal war on Gaza continued unabated for the 172nd day. Hours after the United Nations Security Council finally passed a resolution demanding an immediate ceasefire, Israel already began to bomb areas across Gaza.

Previous attempts at the body calling for a ceasefire had been vetoed by the US. On Monday, the US abstained from the vote and the UNSC ceasefire resolution passed unanimously with a 14-0 vote which also called for a massive increase in the delivery of humanitarian aid to Gaza during the month of Ramadan.

The long-awaited security council resolution was welcomed with widespread relief from the international community, with the security council also breaking into applause in a rare break from usual protocol of no applause or cheers during a security council session.

Hamas welcomed the passing of the resolution, saying that it “affirms readiness to engage in immediate prisoner swaps on both sides.” The Palestinian Foreign Ministry also lauded it, calling it a step in the right direction to stop the Israeli war completely and to ensure the withdrawal of all Israeli forces from Gaza, the entry of more aid into Gaza, as well as for the return of all the internally displaced Palestinians to their own homes and neighborhoods. The foreign ministry also called on the member states of the Security Council to fulfill their legal and historical responsibilities to implement the resolution immediately. Israel expectedly denounced the ceasefire resolution and even canceled Netanyahu’s trip to the US over its abstention. However, meetings between Israeli and US government officials to discuss supply of weapons are proceeding as normal.

Internationally, the United Nations, China, Australia, the European Union, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, among others, released similar statements welcoming the passing of the resolution and calling for its immediate implementation. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that failure to implement the resolution would be “unforgivable.” Philippe Lazzarini the head of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees, also expressed hope that the resolution will be implemented in what remains of the month of Ramadan so that the besieged civilians in Gaza will be able to get some much needed relief and peace. Furthermore, the UN also flatly rejected and refuted claims by the US that the resolution passed yesterday was legally ‘non-binding’, with the spokesperson for the UN secretary-general, Farhan Haq, telling news outlets that, “all the resolutions of the Security Council are international law. So they are as binding as international law is.”

Meanwhile, the indiscriminate and incessant Israeli bombardment showed no signs of stopping in the face of the UNSC resolution, with dozens of airstrikes and ground assaults across Gaza. Reports noted that the Israeli military have struck more than 60 locations, including homes, residential buildings and neighborhoods across Gaza in the continuing bombardment today. Areas in Gaza being targeted include the Al-Shifa hospital and its surroundings in Gaza city, Jabalya, Beit Lahiya, Beit Hanoon, Rafah, among several other locations. At least 18 people have been killed in Rafah, including several children, with at least 30 also killed near the Al-Shifa hospital. The total death toll in Gaza from the Israeli war since October 7 has risen to at least 32,414 Palestinians killed, with at least 74,787 Palestinians injured, according to latest statistics from the Palestinian Ministry of Health.

Aside from those killed in the Israeli attacks, reports also noted that at least 18 others Palestinians have been killed as a result of the air drops being carried out by various countries, including the United States, Jordan and others. Several countries have resorted to the risky and dangerous air drops in the face of repeated Israeli restrictions and blockages of aid deliveries through land routes. According to the Palestinian media office in Gaza, at least 12 people are confirmed dead near Gaza’s Northern Coast after drowning in the Mediterranean Sea where they swam to retrieve the aid parcels mistakenly dropped in the sea. Additionally, the media office said that six others have also been killed in “stampedes” that broke out after Palestinians attempted to obtain aid following air drops elsewhere in Northern Gaza, showing the dire and extreme levels of hunger and starvation prevailing in Gaza as a result of the Israeli war and restrictions.

Despite the dire humanitarian situation, Israel continues to block aid deliveries, and yesterday announced that it will not allow any more aid deliveries into Northern Gaza. The UN yesterday also noted that for the last two days, food aid to Northern Gaza has been blocked by the Israeli forces, with the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the occupied Palestinian territory noting that “as famine edges closer, families are forced into dire choices for survival. The need for safe, unhindered humanitarian support has never been more urgent.”

UNRWA has also called the Israeli decision “outrageous”, adding that “despite the tragedy unfolding under our watch, the Israeli authorities informed the UN that they will no longer approve any UNRWA food convoys to the north. This is outrageous and makes it intentional to obstruct lifesaving assistance during a man made famine.” For the last several weeks, the UN and international aid groups have repeatedly warned of Northern Gaza falling into the grip of a famine, followed by the rest of Gaza, if there wasn’t a massive and uninterrupted increase and supply of humanitarian aid.