Israel calls on Security Council to pressurise Hamas

Israel called on the UN Security Council to put pressure on Hamas to release Israeli hostages on March 11, Reuters reported. 

250 captives were taken to Gaza by the militant group on October 7 and it is believed that around 130 still remain in the war-torn enclave. There have been reports of hostages being killed by Israeli bombs as the country continues its ruthless assault on Gaza and have killed 31,000 people since the beginning of October. 

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz was in New-York to address the 15-member Security Council following a recent UN report which said that there were “reasonable grounds to believe” that sexual assault occurred during the October 7 assault. 

During his address, he called on the Security Council to “put as much pressure as possible” on Hamas and stressed the importance of the release of captives. 

Negotiations regarding a ceasefire deal, which would have seen the release of all Israeli hostages and Palestinian prisoners as well as a six-week halt in the fighting, failed to make a breakthrough in Cairo as President Biden said that should there not be a cessation of hostilities before Ramadan (which started on March 10), the situation in the region could become “very dangerous”. 

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Katz told the Security Council, “We are asking you to condemn the sexual violence crimes these barbarians (Hamas) committed in the name of the religion,” as well as calling on it “to put as much pressure as possible on the Hamas organization to release immediately and unconditionally all the kidnapped hostages.” 

The Israeli diplomat also called on sanctions to be put on the Palestinian group and claimed that they were worse than Al-Qaeda and ISIS both of whom have been in the sights of the Security Council for a long time now. 

Palestinian UN Ambassador Riyad Mansour accused Israel in the Security Council of pursuing the “forcible displacement of our people by making Gaza unlivable.”   

For the third time, Washington vetoed a Security Council motion calling for an immediate and permanent ceasefire in Gaza on February 20, arguing that it ran the risk of jeopardising a hostage negotiation deal. 

Reuters/ AP 

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