| 22 February 2024, Thursday |

Abul Gheit: Rejecting ceasefire in Gaza gives Israel ‘license to kill’

Arab League Secretary-General Ahmad Abul Gheit said on Saturday that the failure of the UN Security Council to agree on a permanent ceasefire in Gaza is equivalent to providing Israel with a “license to kill.”

The Arab League chief also said that the adoption of a resolution in the Security Council regarding the delivery of aid to the Gaza Strip came “late”.

The Security Council, criticized for its failure to take any concrete action on the war in Gaza, passed Friday a resolution that called for humanitarian aid in Gaza without a ceasefire to facilitate its delivery.

“The UNSC Resolution is an attempt to prevent famine in the Gaza Strip and to save people, especially women and children, from a catastrophic situation, but it is not enough to stop Israel’s war machine, particularly it does not include a ceasefire,” Abul Gheit said in a statement.

He said the decision came after stalling and delay at the request of Israel, stressing that what is required is not only the introduction of humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip, but also primarily the protection of civilians from the continuous bombing, achieving a sustainable ceasefire, and immediately starting a major relief operation to include hundreds of thousands of people who lack the minimum necessities for life.

“Every step to alleviate the suffering of civilians in Gaza is in the right direction, but addressing the humanitarian catastrophe cannot be achieved through partial measures or palliatives to absorb the anger of world public opinion over what is happening in Gaza,” according to the Arab League chief.

Abul Gheit then affirmed that rejecting an immediate ceasefire is a “license to kill,” explaining that Arab efforts will not stop to reach an end to the war. He called on the US to reassess the situation and take the correct decision from both a humanitarian and political standpoint instead of being led by the desire of the Israeli extreme right to inflict collective punishment and revenge against 2.3 million people in the Gaza Strip.

On Friday, the Security Council adopted an amended version of the UAE-penned resolution to avoid a veto by the US.

The resolution demands the immediate, safe and unhindered delivery of humanitarian assistance directly to the Palestinian civilian population throughout the Gaza Strip.

The reference to “urgent and permanent cessation of hostilities” was removed from the initial text of the resolution.

Later, Moscow requested an amendment to reinstate the call for an “urgent suspension of hostilities,” which Washington opposed.

This is the second time that the Security Council succeeds in passing a resolution on Gaza.

On November 15, the Council approved a resolution calling for a “humanitarian ceasefire.”

In the past two months, five texts calling for a humanitarian ceasefire were rejected, including two vetoed by the US.


  • Asharq Al-Awsat