The adoption of Resolution 2728 by the Security Council today, demanding an immediate ceasefire in Gaza for the duration of Ramadan and the unconditional release of hostages is an important step after too many failed votes. A ceasefire is the only way to ensure civilians are protected and is central to enabling the scale up of humanitarian assistance to safely reach those in desperate need. The IRC continues to call for a sustained ceasefire - well beyond the month of Ramadan, which ends in only a few weeks' time. 

This resolution must serve as a critical turning point and it must be implemented. IRC urges Council members, including the United Kingdom, to leverage all their influence to achieve an immediate cessation of hostilities and work towards a lasting ceasefire. It is paramount that the Council and its members also continue to advocate for the implementation of the calls it has set out in this resolution and those in resolutions 2720 and 2712, ensuring that all parties comply with their obligations under International Humanitarian Law, including the protection of civilians and civilian objects such as hospitals from attack, and take urgent steps to increase humanitarian access across the entire Gaza strip including through the use of all available routes and border crossings to Gaza.

It is unconscionable that Israel is blocking UNRWA from delivering food in the north of Gaza where famine is imminent and children are already dying of starvation. Without a ceasefire in place that is respected by all parties, alongside steps by Israel to remove obstacles to the scale up of humanitarian aid, Gaza risks facing further catastrophe - based on John Hopkins analysis, up to 140,000 children could be acutely malnourished by August if the crisis continues to escalate without a ceasefire. Time has run out, a ceasefire must be implemented without delay.