The United Nations human rights chief on Friday said that the apparent deliberate denial of safe access for humanitarian agencies within war-torn Sudan could amount to a war crime.
Israeli ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan shows a poster with the image of a Hamas leader on it as he speaks to delegates during the United Nations General Assembly expected to vote on ceasefire resolution, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, in New York City, U.S., December 12, 2023. Reuters/Eduardo Munoz
The United Nations on Tuesday demanded an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war after more than three-quarters of the 193-member General Assembly backed the move, which had been vetoed by the United States in the Security Council last week.
Washington does not have a veto in the General Assembly. It voted against the draft resolution, along with Israel and eight other countries. The text garnered 153 votes in favor, while 23 countries abstained from the vote.
General Assembly resolutions are not binding but carry political weight, reflecting a global view on the war.
Israel has refused calls for an immediate ceasefire, saying such a call would allow Hamas fighters in the Gaza Strip time to regroup and rearm.
"This resolution does not condemn Hamas. It doesn't even mention Hamas," said Israeli ambassador Gilad Erdan in the General Assembly.
He then held aloft a placard with a telephone number and the name and image of Yahya Sinwar, a Hamas leader in the Gaza Strip.
"If you want a real ceasefire, here is the right address," Erdan said. "Tell Hamas to put down their arms, turn themselves in, and return our hostages. This will bring a complete ceasefire that will last forever."
Israel has bombarded Gaza from the air, imposed a siege and launched a ground offensive in retaliation for an Oct. 7 attack by Hamas that Israel says killed 1,200 people and saw 240 people taken hostage. Gaza's health ministry says 18,205 Palestinians have been killed and nearly 50,000 wounded.
Most of the 2.3 million people in Gaza have been driven from their homes and the United Nations has given dire warnings about the humanitarian situation in the coastal enclave, saying that hundreds of thousands of people are starving.
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