More than three-quarters of UN Gen Assembly members demanded immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza

By Abdul Adil

London, (The Muslim News): The United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday demanded an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war after more than three-quarters of the 193-member General Assembly backed the move. However, the vote is non-biding. The US voted against the resolution and the UK abstained.

According Ministry of Health in Gaza, 18,412 Palestinians have been killed including 7,729 children, 5,153 women and 50,100 have been injured since October 7 by Israeli indiscriminate bombing. 1.9 million Palestinians have been displaced by Israeli forces.

In a surprising move, before the U.N. vote, U.S. President Joe Biden told a fundraising event for his 2024 re-election campaign on Tuessday that Israel was losing international support because of its “indiscriminate bombing” of Gaza.

“Israel’s security can rest on the United States, but right now it has more than the United States. It has the European Union, it has Europe, it has most of the world … But they’re starting to lose that support by indiscriminate bombing that takes place,” Biden said.

Biden alluded to a private conversation in which the Israeli leader said: “‘You carpet bombed Germany, you dropped the atom bomb, a lot of civilians died,’” reported Reuters

Biden said he responded: “Yeah, that’s why all these institutions were set up after World War Two to see to it that it didn’t happen again … don’t make the same mistakes we made in 9/11. There’s no reason why we had to be in a war in Afghanistan.”

The resolution expressed “grave concern over the catastrophic humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip and the suffering of the Palestinian civilian population” and emphasized “that the Palestinian and Israeli civilian populations must be protected in accordance with international humanitarian law.”

Member States adopted a resolution, demanding an “immediate humanitarian ceasefire”, the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages and well as “ensuring humanitarian access”.

It passed with a large majority of 153 in favour and 10 against, with 23 abstentions.

The resolution also reiterated the General Assembly’s demand that all parties comply with their obligations under international law, including international humanitarian law, “notably with regard to the protection of civilians”.

The United States does not have a veto in the General Assembly. It voted against the resolution, along with Israel and eight other countries. The resolution was adopted to a round of applause with 153 votes in favor, while 23 countries abstained from the vote.

Tuesday’s vote showed major shifts in voting, reported AP. More than 25 countries that abstained on Oct. 27 supported Tuesday’s cease-fire demand, including Albania, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, Greece, Iceland, India, Iraq, Japan, Latvia, Monaco, North Macedonia, Philippines, Poland, South Korea, Moldova, San Marino, Serbia, Sweden, Tunisia, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and Zambia.

Croatia and Fiji went from voting no on Oct. 27 to voting yes on Tuesday, while Hungary, the Marshall Islands and Tonga went from voting no to abstaining.

The support was much higher than for an Oct. 27 Arab-sponsored resolution that called for a “humanitarian truce” leading to a cessation of hostilities, where the vote was 120-14 with 45 abstentions.

[Photo: Injured Palestinian child being treated at Nasser Hospital following Israeli attacks in Khan Yunis, Gaza on 12 12 23. Photojournalist:  Belal Khaled/ AA]

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