City Council members rejected a last-minute resolution Thursday calling for a long-term ceasefire in Israel and Gaza, just days after a separate last-minute measure asking the body to condemn the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas similarly came up short.

The ceasefire measure — introduced by the four council members who abstained from Monday’s vote to condemn Hamas — comes as division over the conflict in Israel and Palestine has roiled City Hall in recent days. Like Monday’s measure, the ceasefire legislation did not appear on the agenda for the day, though many council members offered prepared remarks in response.

The resolution, which also condemned the Hamas attack and expressed solidarity with the Jewish and Islamic communities, failed on a 5-7 vote, with three members absent.

Just three days earlier, the City Council’s meeting was interrupted by pro-Palestinian protesters shortly before the body took a similar vote on a surprise resolution to condemn Hamas for killing more than 1,200 Israelis who were mostly civilians, and taking more than 240 hostages during their Oct. 7 attack on Israel. Introduced by Councilman Isaac “Yitzy” Schleifer in an unscheduled move after the protestors had been escorted from the building, Monday’s resolution came up short, with nine votes in support and four abstaining.

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In an introduction of the ceasefire measure Thursday, Councilman Kristerfer Burnett expressed the importance of acknowledging Palestinians as well as Israelis suffering in the conflict. According to an Associated Press report, Gaza’s Health Ministry says Israel has killed more than 17,400 people, 70% of them women and children.

Burnett also addressed his decision to abstain from Monday’s vote, urging a distinction between discrimination against Jewish people and criticism of Israeli policy and actions taken against Palestinians.

“I’m asking you all today to stand with inclusivity. To stand in acknowledgement of the trauma that this has had on all communities in Baltimore City and across the globe,” he said.

The four members who abstained from Monday’s vote — Burnett, Odette Ramos, Ryan Dorsey and Phylicia Porter — each voted in favor of the ceasefire measure, as did Councilman John Bullock. Council members Zeke Cohen, Danielle McCray, Eric Costello, Robert Stokes, Mark Conway, Council President Nick Mosby and Schleifer voted against it, while members Sharon Green Middleton, Antonio Glover and James Torrence were absent.

Schleifer rejected Burnett’s attempt to identify common ground on the issue, criticizing his resolution for denying “Israel’s right to exist” and perpetuating a “double standard” often faced by Jews. In a lengthy rebuttal, Schleifer, who has family in Israel, produced a large stack of papers bearing the names and photos of hostages taken by Hamas, reading through them one-by-one.

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Nearly every member present Thursday rose to explain their vote. Some who supported Schleifer’s motion to condemn Hamas, like Cohen, argued against the ceasefire measure by calling for the council to return its attention to the city they represent and focus on “problems facing Baltimore, not the Middle East.”

The members who abstained from the vote to condemn Hamas issued a statement the day after explaining that they felt the resolution did not adequately acknowledge the suffering of Palestinians or express solidarity with Muslims in addition to Jews. Porter grew visibly upset Thursday as she recounted receiving a barrage of critical messages — some including racial slurs — for her decision not to support the prior resolution, “simply because we wanted it to include a vibrant, equally underrepresented community and condemn hate in the city of Baltimore.”

“I stand here deeply concerned about where we are as a council,” Mosby said in an explanation of his vote. At Monday’s meeting, the body rejected a straightforward call for solidarity from a member whose “heart and mind pumps and bleeds for his family in Israel,” said Mosby, arguing that the body could have passed Schleifer’s resolution and still come back to address other concerns about the war on Thursday. “It was that simple. It’s disgraceful that we’re having this discussion today,” he said.

Mayor Brandon Scott, too, addressed the City Council conflict during a news conference a day earlier, calling for peace in Israel and Palestine and condemning discrimination against both the Jewish and Islamic communities. Scott said he agreed with the content of the resolution to condemn Hamas, but expressed a need for acknowledgement of Palestinian people, too.

Asked whether he would have voted for the resolution if he were still on the City Council, the former council president critiqued the last-minute process that led up to the vote Monday. If he was still City Council president, he said, “we probably would have handled the whole situation differently.”