The UN Security Council on Friday approved a resolution calling for an immediate and durable ceasefire in Gaza, with the US abstaining from the vote. While the US stayed away, the remaining 14 members voted in favour of the resolution which came after three days of intensive negotiations. The agreement was reached on the third day of an emergency meeting of the Council, which initially saw Arab nations and the veto-wielding western powers advocate different courses. The statement that was being pushed by the US, Britain and France stressed the need for "immediate and durable" ceasefire, expressing "grave concern at deepening humanitarian crisis" in Gaza, while calling for an immediate and full humanitarian access. However, the Libyan draft resolution, being pushed by the Arab nations, did not mention Hamas or smuggling of weapons from Egypt into Gaza by Hamas which they consider to be a terrorist organisation. The common understanding was reached at a resolution that expresses "grave concern" at the escalating violence and deepening humanitarian crisis in Gaza and states the need to open all crossings and achieve a lasting solution to the Arab-Israel conflict. The casualties in the now 13-day old offensive are nearing 700. Addressing the Council after the vote, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said that America supports the goals of the resolution and therefore Washington has decided it to go through.