Hamas welcomes UN demand for immediate ceasefire in Gaza
Hamas welcomed the United Nations’ demand for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza and urged the international community to continue pressuring Israel to abide by the resolution, a senior official of the Palestinian Islamist group, Izzat El-Reshiq, said in a statement early on Wednesday.
More than three-fourths of the 193-member UN General Assembly backed the move, which was vetoed by the United States in the Security Council last week.
UNGA passes landmark resolution for Gaza ceasefire
The United Nations General Assembly passed a non-binding resolution calling for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza, putting pressure on Israel.
The body, which includes all 193 UN member nations, voted 153 in favour of the resolution, exceeding the 140 or so countries that have routinely backed resolutions condemning Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.
Ten countries, including the United States and Israel, voted against the resolution, while 23 abstained.
The vote in the General Assembly came after the Security Council — responsible for global peace and security — has repeatedly failed to make such a call.
The Council took more than a month after the start of the Israeli offensive on Gaza to speak out — and it did so with a weak voice, calling in mid-November after four rejected texts for humanitarian “pauses” in the conflict.
“These tragic attempts are a despicable sign of double standards,” Egypt’s ambassador to the UN Osama Mahmoud Abdelkhalek Mahmoud said of Washington’s efforts to provide Israel diplomatic cover ahead of the vote in the General Assembly.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has warned of a looming “complete breakdown of public order” in the besieged Gaza Strip.
Many countries and human rights organisations condemned last Friday’s Security Council failure, and Guterres on Sunday described the Council’s authority and credibility as “undermined.”
“We agree the humanitarian situation in Gaza is dire,” said Washington’s ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield ahead of Tuesday’s vote.
“It’s the diplomacy that the United States is engaging in on the ground that made that week-long humanitarian pause possible,” she said, referring to the only lull in the fighting so far, which took place last month.
Thomas-Greenfield urged countries to back an amendment to Tuesday´s resolution that would have condemned Hamas, but that was voted down.
She also called on Israel “to avoid mass displacement of civilians in the south of Gaza,” but said Israel was pursuing “legitimate military objectives.”