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Israel-Gaza Strip. Benjamin Netanyahu reacts to the US decision. He will not send a delegation to Washington

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he would not send a high-level delegation to Washington after the United States failed to veto a UN Security Council resolution calling for a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip. Previously, the US blocked similar resolutions several times. Now that has changed.

According to a statement from Benjamin Netanyahu's office, cited by Reuters, the Israeli prime minister said that Washington's failure to veto the resolution constitutes a “clear retreat” from its previous position and will harm the war effort against Hamas in the Gaza Strip, as well as efforts to free more than 130 hostages.

“In light of the change in the American position, Prime Minister Netanyahu has decided not to send the delegation,” it was reported.

The high-level delegation was scheduled to travel to Washington to discuss a planned Israeli military operation in Rafah, a city in the southern Gaza Strip.

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Kirby: We are disappointed by Israel's reaction

During Monday's online briefing, US National Security Council spokesman John KirbyUSA decided not to veto the Security Council resolution because it “fairly reflects the view” of Washington. At the same time, he noted that the US did not vote for the document because it did not condemn the Hamas attacks.

Although the US has so far repeatedly vetoed council resolutions calling for a ceasefire and not condemning Hamas, the spokesman stressed that the lack of a veto did not mean a change in America's approach.

– This vote does not mean a change in our policy. We have been clear and consistent in our support for a ceasefire as part of the hostage release agreement, he stressed.

Referring to the Israeli prime minister's decision to cancel the delegation's arrival scheduled for Tuesday, he said that “we are very disappointed that they will not come to Washington.” However, he announced that he expected talks on the issues that were to be raised during the meeting with the Israeli delegation on the occasion of a separate and previously planned visit by Israeli Defense Minister Joav Galant. On Monday and Tuesday, he will meet with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin and US national security advisor Jake Sullivan.

Kirby noted that the U.S. still supports Israel's desire to eliminate Hamas, but reiterated that a major offensive in Rafah would put many civilian lives at risk and would be a “big mistake.”

Pentagon spokesman Gen. Pat Ryder said Austin's call with Galant, scheduled for Tuesday, will cover a range of topics, including the release of hostages held by Hamas and the need to increase humanitarian aid to Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip.

The US abstained from voting

On Monday, the UN Security Council adopted a resolution demanding a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip – for a month, during Ramadan – the most important month in the Muslim calendar, commemorating the revelation of the Quran.

The United States abstained from voting. Thanks to this, the resolution could be adopted. This ended the deadlock that had been going on for five months. During this time, the Council attempted several times to adopt a resolution calling for an end to the fighting in the Gaza Strip, but the US has so far vetoed such votes.

UN Security Council resolutions are legally binding and considered international law. While this body does not have the tools to enforce the resolution, it can impose certain sanctions on Israel.

READ MORE: Landmark vote in the Security Council. The US abstained from voting

Main photo source: Abir Sultan/EPA/PAP

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