The UN Has Overwhelmingly Passed Another Resolution Demanding An Immediate Ceasefire In Gaza

More than three quarters of the 193 member states – 153 countries – voted in favor, 10 voted against and 23 abstained.

The UN Has Overwhelmingly Passed Another Resolution Demanding An Immediate Ceasefire In Gaza

The UN General Assembly has overwhelmingly passed a non-binding, symbolic resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and protecting civilians.

un ceasefire resolution gaza dec 12 general assembly

Applause rang out in the hall as the resolution passed with a large majority on Tuesday Dec. 12.

More than three quarters of the 193 member states – 153 countries – voted in favor, 10 voted against and 23 abstained.

The latest resolution called for an “immediate humanitarian ceasefire”, the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages and well as “ensuring humanitarian access”.

It also demanded all parties in the conflict comply with their obligations under international law, “notably with regard to the protection of civilians”.

gaza strip israel airstrikes
A picture taken from a position near Sderot along the Israeli border with the Gaza Strip shows smoke billowing during an Israeli bombardment on the northern Palestinian territory. (Photo by FADEL SENNA/AFP via Getty Images)

That’s a significant increase in support from a resolution calling for a “humanitarian truce” on Oct. 27 that passed with 120 votes in favor, 14 against and 45 abstentions.

Israel and the United States, its closest ally, voted against the resolution.

Just days earlier, the US had blocked a binding UN Security Council resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire from passing, saying it would only benefit Hamas.

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An injured Palestinian woman covered in dust and blood hugs an injured girl child at the hospital following the Israeli bombardment of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip. (Photo by BELAL KHALED/AFP via Getty Images)

The other eight countries that voted no in the General Assembly resolution included Austria, Czech Republic, Guatemala, Liberia, Micronesia, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, and Paraguay.

More than 25 countries that had abstained for the previous resolution changed their vote to yes, including Albania, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, Greece, Iceland, India, Iraq, Japan, Latvia, Monaco, North Macedonia, Philippines, Poland, South Korea, Moldova, San Marino, Serbia, Sweden, Tunisia, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and Zambia.

Croatia and Fiji went from voting no to voting yes, while Hungary, the Marshall Islands and Tonga went from voting no to abstaining.

The UK, which abstained in the Security Council resolution, abstained, as did Ukraine, which voiced its support for Israel when the war broke out.

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A medical worker rushes a child to the ambulance for treatment after Israeli airstrikes destroy buildings in Gaza City, Gaza . (Photo by Belal Khaled/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

“Today was a historic day in terms of the powerful message that was sent from the General Assembly,” Palestine’s UN ambassador, Riyad Mansour, said after the vote. “And it is our collective duty to continue in this path until we see an end to this aggression against our people, to see this war stopping against our people. It is our duty to save lives.”

He said cited the mass pro-Palestinian protests around the world and said that the US could not continue “to ignore this massive power”, calling the General Assembly vote a culmination of public sentiment, according to Reuters.

Although General Assembly resolutions are not binding, they carry significant symbolic and political weight, reflecting the global view on the war, according to Al Jazeera.

un ceasefire again israel palestine

The UN’s Secretary-General António Guterres has been repeatedly calling for a humanitarian ceasefire, even making a rare move to invoke Article 99 of the UN charter to warn the Security Council about the global threat posed by the war.

An attempt by the US to amend the resolution text to include a rejection and condemnation of “the heinous terrorist attacks by Hamas … and the taking of hostages” and another by Austria to add that the hostages were being held by Hamas both failed to garner two-thirds of the vote to pass.

Pakistan’s UN ambassador argued against both the proposed amendments, saying that any blame “has to be placed on both parties, especially on Israel,” Al Jazeera reported.

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A child is seen among the rubble of destroyed buildings as Israeli airstrikes continue in the 19th day in Khan Yunis, Gaza. (Photo by Belal Khaled/Anadolu via Getty Images)

“When you deny people freedom and dignity, when you humiliate and trap them in an open air prison, where you kill them as if they were beasts – they become very angry and they do to others what was done to them,” he told the General Assembly.

Prior to vote, US president Joe Biden voiced his strongest criticism of Israel yet, saying that Israel was losing international support because of “indiscriminate bombing that takes place.”

He called on Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu to change his government, the most far-right in the country’s history.

Palestinians check the rubble of a building
Palestinians check the rubble of a building in Khan Yunis, amid the ongoing battles between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas. (Photo by MAHMUD HAMS/AFP via Getty Images)

More than 18,000 Palestinians have now been killed in Gaza by Israeli airstrikes and a ground offensive, with about two thirds of casualties being women and children.

The death toll in Israel stands at about 1,200, with about 117 Israelis being held hostage by Hamas.

More On This

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The US Has Again Blocked A UN Resolution For A Ceasefire In Gaza, Saying It Will Only Benefit Hamas
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