International

UN Security Council Adopts Resolution Urging Humanitarian Pauses Amid Israel's Escalating War on Gaza

Israel promptly rejected the resolution, emphasizing its disconnect from reality and lack of meaning, especially in the absence of condemnation for Hamas.

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC)
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In a significant development at the UN Security Council, a resolution has been adopted, marking the first response since the outbreak of Israel's war on Gaza. The resolution, sponsored by Malta, calls for "urgent and extended humanitarian pauses" in Gaza to address the escalating crisis faced by Palestinian civilians during Israel's aerial and ground attacks. Notably, the resolution passed with a 12-0 vote, with the United States, United Kingdom, and Russia abstaining, as reported by AP.

Israel promptly rejected the resolution, emphasizing its disconnect from reality and lack of meaning, especially in the absence of condemnation for Hamas. The resolution underwent changes from initially demanding to now calling for humanitarian pauses and the immediate release of hostages held by Hamas and other groups. Despite this, it managed to overcome previous differences that hindered the adoption of four earlier resolutions.

Malta's UN Ambassador Vanessa Frazier expressed satisfaction with the resolution, considering it an important first step. She reiterated the commitment to protecting civilians and addressing the plight of children in armed conflict. The resolution, however, does not mention specific events like the October 7 attacks in Israel by Hamas or Israel's subsequent airstrikes and ground offensive in Gaza.

The vote saw the US and UK abstain due to the resolution's failure to condemn Hamas for cross-border attacks and Russia abstain because it did not demand a humanitarian cease-fire, contrary to Israel and the US's stance.

While some, like US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, called the resolution a step forward, criticisms were voiced. Israel's UN Ambassador Gilad Erdan dismissed it as disconnected from reality, and Russia's UN Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia called it a weak call considering the council's powerful toolbox.

The resolution is significant as it is the first on the situation in the Palestinian territories since 2016. UAE Ambassador Lana Nusseibeh highlighted the unity of the council in addressing the month-long crisis, considering it a momentous achievement.

Despite its passage, skepticism remains regarding the resolution's impact on the ground. UN Security Council resolutions are legally binding, but practical adherence varies. The resolution calls for humanitarian pauses and corridors in Gaza, emphasizing unhindered access for aid groups and repairs to essential infrastructure.

In response to Israel's rejection, Frazier and Nusseibeh emphasized the resolution's legal binding nature and pointed to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres' upcoming report on its implementation, scheduled for November 28. Palestinian UN Ambassador Riyad Mansour stressed the urgency for a ceasefire, asserting that Gaza is experiencing death, devastation, and destruction.

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