The UN General Assembly has adopted a resolution on the protection of civilians and upholding legal and humanitarian obligations in Gaza, despite the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas. The resolution, which was passed by a large majority of 153 votes in favour and 10 against, did not include an explicit call for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire, as requested by the UN Secretary-General.
The resolution demanded that all parties to the conflict comply with their obligations under international law, including international humanitarian law, notably with regard to the protection of civilians. It also called for the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages and ensuring of humanitarian access.
The resolution was introduced by Egypt, speaking for the Arab Group, as a simple, clear and explicit statement of condemnation of Israeli aggression and violation of international law. The representative of Egypt said that Israel’s argument about its right to self-defense was a pretext and that Israel was not above international humanitarian law.
However, before the adoption of the resolution, two amendments were proposed by Austria and the United States, which aimed to make specific reference to Hamas as an extremist group responsible for heinous terrorist attacks in Israel. Both amendments were voted down by members.
The US vetoed a similar resolution at the UN Security Council on Friday, saying that it would undermine Israel’s right to defend itself against Hamas’ rocket attacks. The US also accused Hamas of holding civilians hostage in Gaza.
Canada expressed its support for the UN resolution calling for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war, saying that it was consistent with Canada’s position on this issue. Canada also urged both sides to respect international humanitarian law and human rights law.