New York: The United Nations General Assembly has adopted a resolution ‘Protection of civilians and upholding legal and humanitarian obligations’ demanding an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza. India voted in favour of the ceasefire resolution in the UNGA’s emergency session on the Middle East on Tuesday (local time).
As many as 153 nations, including India, voted in favour of the resolution, while 10, including US, Israel and Austria, voted against and 23 countries, including Argentina, Ukraine and Germany abstained from voting.
The resolution demands an “immediate humanitarian ceasefire,” the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages and well as “ensuring humanitarian access.” It further demands that all parties comply with their obligations under international law, including humanitarian law, with regard to protection of civilians.
India’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Ruchira Kamboj, said that a terrorist attack occurred in Israel on October 7. She noted that there is an enormous humanitarian crisis and a large-scale loss of human lives.
“India has voted in favour of the resolution just adopted by the General Assembly. The situation that this August body has been deliberating upon has many dimensions. There is the terrorist attack in Israel on 7 October and the concern for the hostages taken at that time. There is an enormous humanitarian crisis and a large-scale loss of civilian lives, especially of women and children.There is the issue of observing international humanitarian law in all circumstances. And there is the endeavour to find a peaceful and lasting two-state solution to the longstanding Palestine question,” Kamboj said.
She said that India welcomes the unity of international community in finding a common ground the address the multiple challenges faced by the region at the present time.
Ruchira Kamboj said, “Our challenge, in this extraordinarily difficult time, is to strike the right balance. The gravity and complexity of what the international community faces are underlined by the secretary general invoking Article 99 of the Charter of the United Nations. We, therefore, welcome the fact that the international community unity has been able to find a common ground to address the multiple challenges facing the region right now.”
Meanwhile, United States-led amendment to the draft resolution was not passed at the UN General Assembly. As many as 84 nations voted in favour of the amendment; 62 voted against while 25 voted abstained.
Furthermore, Austria-led amendment to the draft resolution on the Gaza crisis failed to pass at the UN General Assembly. 89 nations have voted in favour of the amendment, 61 voted against the amendment and 20 abstained from voting.
Israel’s Permanent Representative, Gilad Erdan, said that the UN General Assembly finds itself “about to vote on another hypocritical resolution.”
He said, “Not only does this resolution fail to condemn Hamas for crimes against humanity, it does not mention Hamas at all. This will only prolong the death and destruction in the region, that is precisely what a ceasefire means.”
Erdan said that Hamas’ only intention is to destroy Israel and the group has announced that it will repeat its atrocities again and again until Israel ceases to exist. He called for the need to hold Hamas accountable and added that a ceasefire means only one thing which is the “survival of Hamas.”
He asked, “So why would anyone want to aid Hamas in continuing their rule of terror and actualizing their satanic agenda?” He further said, “We all know that the so call humanitarian ceasefire in this resolution has nothing to do with humanity. Israel is already taking every measure to facilitate the entry of humanitarian aid into Gaza.”
Munir Akram, Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the UN, said it was a matter of “deep regret, that some friends of Israel have introduced amendments to once again condemn only one side but exonerate the other.”
He said, “This is a war against the Palestinian people.” He added, “Israel’s goal is to erase not only a people but the entire idea of Palestine. It’s campaign is a carbon copy of the massive campaigns of racial slaughter by other settler colonial regimes in history.”
The vote comes as the war between Israel and Hamas enters its third month, with medics and aid groups expressing concern over the humanitarian situation in Gaza. Meanwhile, Israel has said it will not stop its military campaign until it destroys Hamas. Israel launched a counter-offensive against Hamas’ after its attack on Israel on October 7.