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Faith Nyasuguta

On the 21st day of the Israel-Hamas conflict, the UN General Assembly passed a non-binding resolution with a significant majority, calling for an “immediate humanitarian truce” in Gaza. 

The resolution received 120 votes in favor, 14 against, and 45 abstentions from UN members. It was criticized by Israel and the United States for not mentioning Hamas.

Israel strongly rejected the measure and declared its commitment to using “every means at our disposal” in dealing with Hamas.

Today is a day that will go down as infamy. We have all witnessed that the UN no longer holds even one ounce of legitimacy or relevance,” Israeli ambassador Gilad Erdan said, telling the assembly: “Shame on you.”

“Israel will continue to defend itself. We will defend our future, our very existence by ridding the world of Hamas’s evil so that it can never threaten anyone else again,” he said.

Meanwhile, Hamas welcomed the call for a break in the conflict.

“We demand its immediate application to allow the entry of fuel and humanitarian aid for civilians,” said a Hamas statement.

According to the rival Palestinian Authority’s foreign ministry, there is  “a solid international position rejecting Israel’s unhinged aggression” as Israel’s campaign “reaches a new peak of brutality.”

Jordan, representing 22 Arab countries, put forth a text advocating for “an immediate, durable, and sustained humanitarian truce leading to a cessation of hostilities.” 

An earlier version had called for an “immediate ceasefire.” Jordan’s Ambassador Mahmoud Hmoud, in his remarks before the vote, emphasized that: “It is not merely our responsibility, but a profound moral obligation to champion the cause of peace.”

/Image, Vox/

Israel has heavily bombarded Gaza since Hamas gunmen stormed across the border on October 7, killing 1,400 people, mostly civilians, and kidnapping over 220 others, according to Israeli officials.

The health ministry in Gaza, which is under Hamas control, reported that Israeli strikes have resulted in the tragic deaths of 7,326 people, with a significant number being civilians, including many children. 

The recent resolution, co-sponsored by nearly 50 countries, primarily focuses on the dire humanitarian situation in sealed-off Gaza as Israel continues its bombardment.

The document urges “immediate” provision of water, food, medical supplies, fuel and electricity and unhindered access for UN and other humanitarian agencies trying to help the Palestinians.

The draft condemns “all acts of violence aimed at Palestinian and Israeli civilians, including all acts of terrorism and indiscriminate attacks” but misses to mention Hamas.

The resolution revealed a division among Western countries, with France supporting the measure, Germany, Italy, and Britain choosing to abstain, and Austria and the United States voting against it. This vote highlights the differing positions on the issue within the Western community.

“It is outrageous that this resolution fails to name the perpetrators of the October 7 terrorist attack,” US ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield said.

“Another key word missing in this resolution is hostage,” she added.


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Faith Nyasuguta

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