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United Nations General Assembly Advocates for Ceasefire in Gaza to End Israel-Hamas Conflict

by Sophia Chen
10 comments
United Nations General Assembly Resolution on Gaza Ceasefire

The United Nations General Assembly has endorsed a nonbinding resolution that urges a “humanitarian truce” in Gaza, aiming to cease the ongoing fighting between Israel and the governing body of Gaza, Hamas.

This represents the first formal reaction from the United Nations to the unexpected attacks initiated by Hamas on Israel on October 7, along with Israel’s continuous military countermeasures and its declared intent to dismantle Hamas.

With a voting count of 120 in favor, 14 against, and 45 abstentions, the resolution was passed despite the defeat of a Canadian proposal, supported by the United States, which sought to categorically denounce Hamas’ October 7 attacks as “terrorist actions” and called for the immediate liberation of hostages held by the group.

The Need for Prompt Action

Jordan’s Ambassador to the U.N., Mahmoud Hmoud, spoke on behalf of the 22-member Arab delegation that had drafted the resolution, stressing the urgency of a vote ahead of the addresses of all 112 scheduled speakers. The resolution aims to address the inability of the Security Council, comprised of 15 influential member states, to reach a consensus after four unsuccessful attempts.

While Security Council resolutions hold legal weight, resolutions by the General Assembly do not; however, they serve as a reflection of global sentiment.

A Contentious Decision

U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield expressed that the resolution was “outrageous” for failing to mention Hamas, adding that it compromises the vision of a two-state resolution. Oman, representing the Gulf Cooperation Council, censured Israel for its “siege” of Gaza and its collective punishment of Palestinians.

Specific Terms of the Resolution

The resolution not only urges an “immediate, lasting, and sustained humanitarian truce” but also calls for the immediate observance of international humanitarian and human rights laws, specifically the protection of civilians and critical infrastructure such as schools and hospitals. Additionally, it insists on the unhindered access for essential supplies into Gaza and for humanitarian workers.

The resolution categorically rejects any attempts to forcibly relocate the Palestinian civilian population and underscores the necessity to promptly develop a mechanism for their protection.

It further highlights the urgency of preventing any further destabilization and intensification of hostilities in the region. It calls upon all parties to exercise “utmost restraint” and urges influential entities to guide them toward achieving this objective.

Deeply Rooted Concerns

During the emergency session, there was overwhelming support for the Arab delegation’s initial draft resolution, which pressed for an immediate ceasefire. Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian Ambassador to the U.N., pointed out that 70% of the casualties in Gaza were women and children and appealed for an end to hostilities, emphasizing the potential lives that could be saved.

The proposal for a ceasefire and the protection of Palestinian civilians, who have been under continual Israeli airstrikes, coupled with an urgent need for essential provisions like food, water, medicine, and fuel, drew intense and fervent discussions during the session.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about United Nations General Assembly Resolution on Gaza Ceasefire

What is the main subject of the article?

The main subject of the article is the United Nations General Assembly’s endorsement of a nonbinding resolution that calls for a “humanitarian truce” in Gaza, aiming to bring an end to the hostilities between Israel and Hamas.

Who initiated the resolution and what was its purpose?

The resolution was initiated by a 22-member Arab delegation, represented by Jordan’s Ambassador to the U.N., Mahmoud Hmoud. The primary purpose of the resolution is to cease ongoing fighting between Israel and Hamas in Gaza and to address the urgent humanitarian needs of the civilian population.

What was the voting outcome for the resolution?

The resolution was passed with 120 votes in favor, 14 against, and 45 abstentions.

Was there an amendment proposed to the resolution?

Yes, a Canadian amendment, supported by the United States, was proposed but ultimately rejected. This amendment aimed to explicitly condemn the October 7 attacks by Hamas as “terrorist actions” and called for the immediate release of hostages taken by Hamas.

Are General Assembly resolutions legally binding?

No, unlike Security Council resolutions, those passed by the General Assembly are not legally binding. However, they serve as a barometer of global opinion and can exert political pressure.

What specific demands does the resolution make?

The resolution calls for an immediate, lasting, and sustained humanitarian truce. It also urges all parties to observe international humanitarian and human rights laws, particularly concerning the protection of civilians and critical infrastructure such as schools and hospitals. Additionally, the resolution insists on unhindered access for essential supplies and humanitarian workers in Gaza.

How did the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. react to the resolution?

U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield criticized the resolution for not mentioning Hamas and stated that it compromises the vision of a two-state resolution between Israel and Palestine.

What did Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian Ambassador to the U.N., emphasize?

Riyad Mansour emphasized the dire humanitarian situation in Gaza, pointing out that 70% of the casualties were women and children. He appealed for an end to hostilities to save potential lives.

Does the resolution address the forced relocation of Palestinian civilians?

Yes, the resolution categorically rejects any attempts at the forced transfer of the Palestinian civilian population and underscores the need to establish a mechanism for their protection.

What is the broader implication of this resolution?

The broader implication is the international community’s growing concern over the humanitarian crisis in Gaza and its willingness to urge an end to hostilities between Israel and Hamas, despite the nonbinding nature of the resolution. It also reflects deep divisions among member states on how best to approach the issue.

More about United Nations General Assembly Resolution on Gaza Ceasefire

  • United Nations Official Press Release
  • Voting Record on Gaza Resolution in U.N. General Assembly
  • Statement by U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield
  • Overview of Israel-Hamas Conflict
  • International Humanitarian and Human Rights Laws
  • Canadian Amendment Details
  • Arab Delegation’s Initial Draft Resolution
  • Gaza Health Ministry Statistics on Casualties
  • Remarks by Palestinian U.N. Ambassador Riyad Mansour
  • History of Israel-Palestine Conflict and Two-State Solution

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10 comments

JohnDoe42 October 27, 2023 - 9:20 pm

Wow, a nonbinding resolution? Do they really think that’s gonna make a difference? Color me skeptical.

Reply
TechGuy23 October 28, 2023 - 3:05 am

The voting split says a lot about the international divisions on this issue. I wonder what the next move is.

Reply
Sarah_1990 October 28, 2023 - 3:32 am

Im not sure how effective these UN things are. but if it saves even a single life, then it’s worth it, right?

Reply
FreedomThinker October 28, 2023 - 4:38 am

UN Resolutions are just political theater, dont actually expect anything to change on the ground.

Reply
GlobalCitizen101 October 28, 2023 - 5:38 am

The article is well detailed. Gives a clear view of what transpired in the UN meeting. But honestly, resolutions arent really enough. Action is needed.

Reply
EcoWarrior October 28, 2023 - 7:33 am

This is all well and good but what about the environmental cost of this conflict? No ones talking bout that.

Reply
MamaBear October 28, 2023 - 12:43 pm

70% women and children among the casualties? Thats heartbreaking. something needs to be done, and fast.

Reply
InvestorMike October 28, 2023 - 3:45 pm

This is going to have ripple effects on the market. Geopolitical stability is crucial for investments. Monitoring closely.

Reply
CryptoActivist October 28, 2023 - 5:10 pm

so the UN finally decides to step in, but it’s just a ‘suggestion’ for Israel and Hamas to stop fighting. great, let’s see how that plays out.

Reply
HumanityFirst October 28, 2023 - 8:24 pm

UN or not, we need real change. The human cost is too high for this to just be politics as usual.

Reply

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