United Nations General Assembly passes resolution calling for Gaza cease-fire

Last week the US vetoed a UN Security Council resolution demanding a ceasefire in Gaza. That was seen as an outrage by many nations and even some of our allies supported it.

Tuesday,the UN held a General Assembly vote on the same topic. This doesn’t have the same force as a Security Council vote but it also can’t be vetoed by a single member.

The General Assembly resolution, which is nonbinding, demands an immediate cease-fire in Gaza and calls for all parties to obey international humanitarian law and issues a demand to release all hostages.

Just 10 countries voted against the resolution, including the U.S. and Israel. Twenty-three countries abstained.

U.N. General Assembly President Dennis Francis said the resolution was an important step toward putting “an end to the bloodshed” in Gaza.

“Right now, what we are seeing is an onslaught on civilians, the breakdown of humanitarian assistance and profound disrespect for international law,” Francis said on the U.N. floor. “Even war has rules, and it is imperative we prevent any deviation from these principles and values.”

Israel is pushing to destroy Hamas in retaliation for an Oct. 7 attack that killed more than 1,200 Israelis. Hamas also kidnapped some 240 hostages, about 100 of whom were released during a temporary cease-fire that ended Dec. 1.

Israel’s war has now moved to the entire Gaza Strip, including the south, where some 2 million residents have fled. The Gaza Health Ministry, which is run by Hamas, has said more than 18,000 people have died since the war began.

Israeli Ambassador to the U.N. Gilad Erdan said Hamas “committed heinous acts of sexual violence” in the Oct. 7 attack and spoke out against the resolution, arguing it would allow Hamas to survive and carry out more attacks.

“There are no war crimes more heinous than the atrocities Hamas committed,” he said. “And those that support this resolution are giving the terrorists a free pass.”

The U.N. has repeatedly raised concerns about the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, where civilians are struggling to get food, water and health care services.

The U.N. Security Council, which can pass legally binding resolutions, attempted to move a measure last week demanding a cease-fire in Gaza but was blocked by the U.S., which has a veto power on the committee.

The U.S. has backed Israel’s campaign to destroy Hamas but is increasingly calling for more humanitarian aid to enter the strip. Washington has also said Israel must do better to protect civilians in Gaza.

Maybe there’s an upside to this if Israel can demand a release of the remaining hostages in exchange for the ceasefire. But beyond that it’s hard to see how Israel has met its objective of destroying Hamas.

The Wall Street Journal today that Israel has recently started flooding the tunnels under Gaza. If that’s accurate, it’s probably a mistake they didn’t start sooner. It will take weeks to flood the tunnels and with this vote Israel probably doesn’t have weeks. The tunnels were always the priority in this fight. Leaving without destroying them would be a significant failure for Israel and a win for Hamas who could resume planning the next attack almost immediately.

Dan Butcher

Dan Butcher (aka HP Pundit) is not a Democrat or Republican. He is a free thinking independent bringing you news and commentary with a dose of much needed common sense.

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post