UN General Assembly overwhelmingly calls for immediate ceasefire in Gaza

The UN General Assembly approved this Tuesday by a majority of 153 votes in favor, compared to 10 against and 23 abstentions, a resolution that calls for “an immediate humanitarian ceasefire” in Gaza, a a much larger result than the one achieved on November 28 to request a cessation of hostilities.

Among the countries that voted against, in addition to Israel and the United States, were some European States (Austria, the Czech Republic), as well as small Pacific countries, Guatemala and Paraguay, while Argentina, Argentina, was among those who abstained for the first time. which joined the position of Italy, Germany and Ukraine.

At the end of the vote, many countries emphatically applauded the result, which garnered much more support (153 compared to 120 on the last occasion) in this international call for a ceasefire, even though the Assembly’s votes are not binding.

Today’s resolution was “minimal” and focused on calling for a ceasefire in the face of “the catastrophic humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip and the suffering of the Palestinian population,” although it also included a call for the release of all hostages. , and did not mention Hamas by name.

Prior to the resolution itself, the Assembly rejected two amendments that Austria and the United States tried to introduce, in the first case to explicitly condemn the attacks by the armed wing of Hamas on October 7 and in the second to also introduce a condemnation of the sexual violence allegedly committed by Hamas members in that attack and in the treatment of their hostages.

Israel reaffirms its position on the Gaza ceasefire

Today’s vote had been requested by two groups of countries, the Arab and the Islamic, after the veto introduced by the United States last Friday to a similar resolution and had the support of thirteen of the fifteen members of the Security Council but could not get ahead after the US veto

According to UN regulations, whenever a resolution is vetoed in the Council, it is discussed in the Assembly at the request of at least two members.

At today’s session, Assembly President Dennis Francis, who usually limits himself to procedural interventions without expressing his opinion, spoke at the beginning of the session and said:

“I wonder how many thousands more lives have to be lost before we do something. There is no time left. This carnage must stop. So I add my voice to the demand for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire.”

The United States, Israel’s unwavering ally, reasoned its opposition because – in the words of its ambassador to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield – “any ceasefire right now would be at best temporary, and at worst dangerous for the Israelis, who would find themselves subject to merciless attacks, as well as dangerous for Palestinians, who deserve the opportunity for a better future, free of Hamas.”

Thomas-Greenfield lamented that his country cannot support “a biased Security Council or a General Assembly that ignores everything we defend.”

The same ideas were repeated by the Israeli ambassador, Gilad Erdan, who, true to his style, went further in the rhetoric, saying that “all those who support this resolution are giving free rein to terrorists (because) a ceasefire It means only one thing, the survival of Hamas.”

He added that resolutions of this type turn the UN “into a moral stain for Humanity,” in addition to contributing to its irrelevance.

BY Nadeem Faisal Baiga