Chicago becomes latest US city to call for cease-fire in Israel-Hamas war

CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago’s City Council narrowly approved a resolution Wednesday calling for a permanent cease-fire in the war between Israel and Hamas, with Mayor Brandon Johnson casting the tiebreaking vote.

The symbolic declaration in the nation's third-largest city follows weeks of rowdy public meetings with disruptions from demonstrators, including on Wednesday when things became so boisterous the first-term mayor had to temporarily clear the council chambers. The resolution, approved 24-23, includes a call for humanitarian aid and the the release of all hostages. Supporters in the chambers included the Rev. Jesse Jackson.

Chicago is latest U.S. city to approve such a non-binding resolution, following Atlanta, Detroit and San Francisco in recent months.

“Do I believe that the words that we speak today, how we vote today influences directly international policy? I don’t. I don’t have those illusions," said Alderman Daniel La Spata, one of the resolution's sponsors. "But we vote with hope. We vote with solidarity. We vote to help people feel heard in a world of silence.”

The ordinance remained largely unchanged over the past few months despite urging from the council's sole Jewish member, Alderwoman Debra Silverstein, who sought more support of Israel and criticism of Hamas.

“We all want an end to the bloodshed and an end to the war. But it is vital to understand what caused the conflict, and we should pass a resolution that addresses the issue responsibly,” she said during the meeting. “We should not pass a resolution unless it makes clear that Hamas cannot and should not attack again.”

The war began with Hamas attacking Israel on Oct. 7, killing about 1,200 people and taking about 250 hostages. Since then, Israeli strikes have killed more than 26,000 Palestinians and displaced nearly 2 million others from their homes.