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Calls for implementing Gaza resolution grow

Divisions deepen between close allies as Israel remains adamant on its stand

By JAN YUMUL in Hong Kong | CHINA DAILY/XINHUA | Updated: 2024-03-28 07:27

Humanitarian aid is airdropped over the Gaza Strip. United Kingdom's Royal Air Force airdropped more than 10 metric tons of food supplies into Gaza for the first time on Monday. LEAH JONES/AFP

The international community is demanding effective enforcement of Monday's United Nations Security Council resolution calling for a cease-fire in Gaza during Ramadan after Israel refused to change course.

The calls have grown specifically louder in the Middle East, led by the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, Qatar, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Kuwait, which have urged countries to expedite their recognition of the Palestinian state.

Majed bin Mohammed Al Ansari, official spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Qatar, stressed the need for the international community "to shoulder its responsibility toward the crisis in the Gaza Strip", especially after the UN resolution.

Qatar's Permanent Representative to the UN Office in Geneva, Hind Abdulrahman Al Muftah, urged on Tuesday the international community to take a "collective and urgent measure" to recognize Palestine.

However, while continuing raids and air attacks in Gaza and Lebanon in the last 24 hours, Israel has recalled its negotiators from Doha after deeming mediation talks on a Gaza truce "at a dead end" due to demands by Hamas, a senior Israeli official said on Tuesday.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday blasted his country's top ally, the United States, which chose not to block the UN resolution. He said the resolution had emboldened Hamas and he vowed to press ahead with the fighting.

Netanyahu has said Israel can only achieve its aims of dismantling Hamas and returning scores of hostages if it expands its ground offensive to the southern city of Rafah, where over half of Gaza's population has sought refuge, many in crowded tent camps. The US has said a major assault on Rafah would be a mistake.

The passage of Monday's resolution further deepened the divisions between the close allies.

Controversial decision

Netanyahu's canceled visit to Washington raised criticism in Israeli media that Netanyahu was straining Israel's most important alliance in order to placate hardliners in his governing coalition.

"He is prepared to sacrifice Israel's relations with the United States for a short-lived political-media coup. He has completely lost it," Ben Caspit, a columnist in the Israeli newspaper Maariv, wrote.

He said Netanyahu has been testing US patience by dragging his feet on ensuring more humanitarian aid gets into Gaza and on drawing up postwar plans.

Belal Alakhras, a political analyst and Palestinian researcher at the University of Malaya in Malaysia, told China Daily that Israel's refusal to heed the UN's call for an immediate cease-fire in Gaza carries some notable implications.

"This underscores Israel's increasingly isolated position, even among traditionally supportive member states who initially balked at the resolution but now recognize the need for diplomatic maneuvering," said Alakhras.

"The Israeli occupation's defiance and rejection of the cease-fire resolution shed light on the vulnerabilities and fractures within the rules-based international order led by Washington," he added.

Alakhras said the failure to effectively address such critical issues and influence member states' behavior "reveals a system seemingly designed for exploitation rather than genuine adherence".

"Those in more vulnerable positions within this framework are likely to bear the brunt of these shortcomings, potentially leading to distant and independent actions in the long term.

"These unfolding events mark a pivotal moment, highlighting the complexities and challenges within our current geopolitical landscape," he added.

Despite pressure, Israel — which launched retaliatory strikes in Gaza — has refused to end its bombardments. Al Jazeera reported on Wednesday that attacks in Rafah by Israel had intensified on the ground with buzzing sound of drones.

Four people had been killed and their bodies transferred to Abu Youssef al-Najjar Hospital while about 25 others had been injured and taken to hospitals.

Agencies via Xinhua contributed to this story.

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