Armed Conflict Foreign Relations & International Law

UN Security Council Adopts Gaza Ceasefire Resolution

Maya Nicholson
Thursday, March 28, 2024, 1:29 PM

After several failed attempts, on March 25, the United Nations Security Council adopted the first ceasefire resolution of the Israel-Hamas war since Oct. 7.

Published by The Lawfare Institute
in Cooperation With

On March 25, the United Nations Security Council passed S/RES/2728, which calls for an “immediate ceasefire” in Gaza for the month of Ramadan. Fourteen members voted in favor, and the United States abstained. 

The resolution “demands an immediate ceasefire for the month of Ramadan respected by all parties leading to a lasting sustainable ceasefire… and also demands the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages…” The UN Security Council further emphasizes “the urgent need to expand the flow of humanitarian assistance to and reinforce the protection of civilians in the entire Gaza Strip and reiterates its demand for the lifting of all barriers to the provision of humanitarian assistance at scale, in line with international humanitarian law as well as resolutions 2712 (2023) and 2720 (2023) .” 

Resolution 2728 comes almost six months into the conflict, as the death toll in Gaza numbers over 30,000 and a territory-wide famine is imminent.

Since Oct. 7, the Security Council has adopted two other resolutions regarding the Israel-Hamas war, making this the third to pass, but the first to call for a ceasefire. Before March 25, the Security Council had previously failed to adopt a ceasefire resolution after the United States used its veto power three times against other draft texts

Another veto came from Russia and China, who blocked a draft ceasefire resolution sponsored by the United States. The two countries criticized the U.S. text following the vote: China stated that “the final text remains ambiguous and does not call for an immediate ceasefire,” instead setting up “preconditions for a ceasefire.” Russia denounced the U.S. draft as “a typical hypocritical show,” with  “a vague phrase about ‘defining the imperative of a ceasefire.’” 

U.S. Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield explained the United States’s abstention on Resolution 2728, stating that “certain key edits [by the United States] were ignored, including our request to add a condemnation of Hamas, and we did not agree with everything in the resolution, and for that reason, we were therefore unfortunately not able to vote yes.” Despite not voting in favor, Thomas-Greenfield emphasized that the United States supported the critical objectives of the resolution and therefore abstained. 

You can read S/RES/2728 here or below: 


Maya Nicholson is Lawfare's Spring 2024 editorial intern. She graduated cum laude with a B.A. in International Relations from New York University in 2023. Maya has interned in several law firms including Farris LLP, McLaughlin and Stern, and was previously a UN Advocacy Intern at the International Crisis Group.

Subscribe to Lawfare