UN Calls for Ceasefire in Gaza; US Abstains
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 8, 2009 9:06 PM CST
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, second from left, talks with the American Ambassador to the United Nations, Zalmay Khalilzad, at the UN Thursday.   (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
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(Newser) – The UN Security Council tonight passed a resolution—with the US abstaining—calling for "an immediate and durable" cease-fire between Israel and Hamas, the BBC reports. The vote was 14-0. It's unclear how much of an effect it will have on the ground, and Israel appeared to be resuming its airstrikes. About 750 Palestinians and 12 Israelis have been killed in 13 days of fighting.

The US abstention seemed to send conflicting signals. Condoleezza Rice said the US supports the ultimate goal of the resolution—an end to hostilities—and therefore didn't veto it. But she said the US abstained because it is waiting to see the outcome of a separate peace proposal being brokered by Egypt, the Telegraph notes. She didn't explain why one precludes the other, though Israel has groused previously that a UN resolution would give Hamas undeserved legitimacy.