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No let-up in Gaza war despite UN ceasefire resolution

PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES — Israeli troops battled Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, with no sign of a let-up in the war despite a UN Security Council resolution demanding an "immediate ceasefire".

The resolution was adopted Monday after Israel's closest ally the United States abstained.

It demands an "immediate ceasefire" for the ongoing Muslim holy month of Ramadan, leading to a "lasting" truce.

It also demands that Hamas and other militants free hostages they took during the unprecedented October 7 attacks on Israel, though it does not directly link the release to a truce.

After the vote, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres led calls for the resolution to be implemented.

"Failure would be unforgivable," he wrote on social media platform X.

Israel reacted furiously to the US abstention, as it allowed the resolution to go through with all the other 14 Security Council members voting yes.

The resolution is the first since the Gaza war erupted to demand an immediate halt in the fighting.

Washington insisted that its abstention, which followed numerous vetoes, did not mark a shift in policy, although it has taken an increasingly tougher line with Israel in recent weeks.

The war began with Hamas's October 7 attacks, which resulted in about 1,160 deaths in Israel, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on official Israeli figures.

Militants also seized about 250 hostages, of whom Israel believes around 130 are still held in Gaza, including 33 presumed dead.

Vowing to destroy Hamas and free the captives, Israel has carried out a relentless bombardment and ground invasion of the coastal territory.

The health ministry in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip on Monday put the Palestinian death toll at 32,333, most of them women and children.

Seventy people were killed early Tuesday, according to the ministry, including 13 in Israeli air strikes around the south Gazan city of Rafah, a key flashpoint in the war.

Hamas welcomed the Security Council resolution and reaffirmed its readiness to negotiate the release of hostages in exchange for Palestinian prisoners held by Israel.

In a statement, the militant group accused Israel of thwarting the latest round of