UN General Assembly Votes For Immediate Humanitarian Ceasefire In Gaza

UN General Assembly Votes For Immediate Humanitarian Ceasefire In Gaza

December 14, 2023

The UN General Assembly has voted by an overwhelming majority for immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza.

The Emergency Special Session of the General Assembly was convened as the ongoing Israeli attacks targeting Hamas resulting in humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza.

Member States adopted a resolution, demanding an “immediate humanitarian ceasefire,” the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages and well as “ensuring humanitarian access.”

The resolution was passed with a large majority of 153 in favor and 10 against, with 23 abstentions.

General Assembly votes are non-binding, but it reflects the general global opinion on the issue.

Israel and the United States, which has repeatedly blocked ceasefire calls in the UN Security Council, were among the 10 nations that opposed the resolution Tuesday.

The resolution also reiterated the General Assembly’s demand that all parties comply with their obligations under international law, including international humanitarian law, “notably with regard to the protection of civilians.”

Two amendments making specific reference to extremist group Hamas by the U.S. and Austria failed to secure two-thirds majority.

U.S. ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield demanded an immediate investigation into the allegations of sexual violence committed by Hamas during and after its October 7 attacks in Israel, which killed more than 1200 people.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization said on Tuesday that the last barely functioning hospital in northern Gaza is a “humanitarian disaster zone”, highlighting the disastrous consequences of ongoing Israeli bombardment for critically ill and injured civilians across the enclave.

Briefing reporters from Gaza, Dr. Richard Peeperkorn, WHO’s representative in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, described corridors overflowing with trauma patients at Al-Ahli Hospital in Gaza City, where doctors treat people on the floor and fuel, oxygen, food and water are scarce.

In just 66 days of fighting, the Strip has been transformed from a “reasonably functioning health system” to a situation where more than two thirds of its 36 hospitals and more than 70 per cent of primary health care facilities are out of commission, Dr. Peeperkorn said.

WHO spokesperson Christian Lindmeier told reporters in Geneva that the Kamal Adwan Hospital – also in the north – was being forcefully evacuated on Tuesday, according to Gaza’s health authorities. Some 68 patients including 18 in intensive care and six newborns are reportedly at the site, alongside thousands of displaced people seeking safety.

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