International UN General Assembly Agrees to Ceasefire, 10 Countries Reject News – 38 minutes ago

Jakarta, CNBC Indonesia – The UN on Tuesday (112/12/2023) demanded an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza after more than three-quarters of the 193 members of the General Assembly supported the move, which was vetoed by the United States at the Security Council last week.

Washington does not have veto power in the General Assembly. They voted against the resolution, along with Israel and eight other countries, viz Austria, Czechia, Guatemala, Liberia, Micronesia, Nauru, Papua New Guinea and Paraguay.

The resolution ultimately received 153 votes in favor, while 23 countries abstained.

Before the UN vote, US President Joe Biden said at a fundraising event for his 2024 re-election campaign that Israel was losing international support because of the “indiscriminate bombing that is taking place.”

Israel has bombarded Gaza from the air, imposed a siege and launched a ground offensive in retaliation for a Hamas attack on October 7 that Israel said killed 1,200 people and took 240 hostage. Gaza’s Health Ministry said at least 18,400 Palestinians were killed and nearly 50,000 were injured.

General Assembly resolutions are non-binding but have political weight, reflecting global views on the war. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has long called for a humanitarian ceasefire and last week took the rare action of warning the Security Council of the global threat posed by the war.

US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield told the General Assembly before the vote that there were several aspects of the resolution that the US supported, such as the need to urgently address the dire humanitarian situation in Gaza, protect civilians and free hostages.

But he added that any ceasefire would now be temporary at best and at worst dangerous for Israel, which it said would be the target of relentless attacks.

“And it is also dangerous for Palestinians, who deserve the opportunity to build a better future for themselves, free from Hamas,” he said, as reported by ReutersWednesday (13/12/2023).

The General Assembly resolution also demands the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages and that conflicting parties must comply with international law, especially with regard to the protection of civilians.

Profitable for Hamas?

The United States’ attempt to change the text of the resolution to include a rejection and condemnation of the “heinous terrorist attacks perpetrated by Hamas…and the hostage-taking” and Austria’s attempt to add that the hostages were being held by Hamas both failed to gain the two-thirds majority support needed to get away.

Pakistan’s UN ambassador, Munir Akram, opposed the proposed amendment to Hamas’ name, saying that any blame “should be placed on both sides, especially Israel.”

“When you deny people freedom and dignity, when you humiliate and trap them in open prisons, where you kill them as if they were wild animals – they get very angry and do the same to others,” he told the General Assembly .

Most of Gaza’s 2.3 million people have been driven from their homes and the UN has issued a dire warning about the humanitarian situation in the coastal region, saying hundreds of thousands of people are starving.

The United States and Israel oppose a ceasefire because they believe it would only benefit Hamas. Washington instead supported a pause in fighting to protect civilians and allowed the release of hostages taken by Palestinian militants on October 7.

“A ceasefire means one thing – ensuring the survival of Hamas, ensuring the survival of genocidal terrorists committed to exterminating Israel and Jews,” Israel’s UN Ambassador Gilad Erdan said ahead of the vote.

“A ceasefire is a death sentence for many Israelis and Gazans,” he told the General Assembly. “By voting in favor of this resolution, you support the continuation of Jihadist terror and the continued suffering of the people of Gaza.”

In October, the General Assembly called for “an immediate, long-term and sustainable humanitarian ceasefire leading to a cessation of hostilities” in a resolution adopted with 121 votes in favor, 14 against – including the US – and 44 abstentions.

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