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UN General Assembly calls for humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza

The UN General Assembly voted on Tuesday in favor of a humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza. The resolution was passed by 153 votes in favor, 10 against and 23 abstaining from the vote. Despite the increasing international pressure, the war in Gaza between Israel and Hamas has entered its third month.

The General Assembly met Tuesday afternoon in an Emergency Special Session to vote on a resolution for the “ongoing crisis in Gaza that shows no signs of abating.” The resolution was rejected and amended twice before it passed with the required two-thirds majority in the third vote. The previous iterations of the resolution both included specific references to Hamas.

The adopted resolution stated the following four key points:

1. Demands an immediate humanitarian ceasefire;

2. Reiterates its demand that all parties comply with their obligations under international law, including international humanitarian law, notably with regard to the protection of civilians;

3. Demands the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages, as well as ensuring humanitarian access;

4. Decides to adjourn the tenth emergency special session temporarily and to authorize the President of the General Assembly at its most recent session to resume its meeting upon request from Member States.

UN member states who voted against the resolution included the US, Israel, Austria, Czechia, Guatemala, Liberia, Micronesia, Nauru, Papua New Guinea and Paraguay. Those who abstained were the UK, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Argentina, Malawi, the Netherlands, Ukraine, South Sudan and Uruguay.

Prior to the adoption of the resolution, Israel’s Permanent Representative Gilad Erdan said that the General Assembly found itself “about to vote on another hypocritical resolution.” He criticized the resolution for its failure to condemn Hamas, adding:

We all know that the so call humanitarian ceasefire in this resolution has nothing to do with humanity. Israel is already taking every measure to facilitate the entry of humanitarian aid into Gaza . . . I honestly don’t know how can someone look in the mirror and support a resolution that does not condemn Hamas and does not even mention Hamas by name

Despite the opposition, the resolution was adopted.

Israel and Gaza previously agreed to a humanitarian ceasefire on November 22. During the week-long ceasefire, Hamas released hostages, Israel released Palestinian prisoners and humanitarian aid flowed into the region. But after several extensions, ceasefire negotiations collapsed on December 1 and hostilities resumed. The UN reported that around 1,200 people died as a result of the Hamas attack on October 7, and there have been at least 18,200 fatalities since Israel began bombing Gaza in response to the attack. Both Israel and Hamas have been accused of war crimes since the start of the conflict.

Tuesday’s vote came shortly after a similar resolution failed to pass in the UN Security Council. Although the majority voted in favor of the UN Security Council resolution, the US vetoed it.

Article: UN General Assembly calls for humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza

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