Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Hamas welcomes UN call for Gaza ceasefire

The Hamas militant group on Wednesday welcomed the UN General Assembly’s (UNGA)call for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in the raging war in Gaza.

In a statement, Izzat Al-Rishq, a member of the Hamas Political Bureau, urged the international community to sustain pressure on what he called the occupying forces and called for compliance with the UN decision, reports CNN.

He also condemned the “war of genocide and ethnic cleansing” against the Palestinian people.

The resolution presented by Egypt and Mauritania with scores of co-sponsors was adopted on Tuesday with 153 votes.

It received only 10 votes against and there were 23 abstentions.

The resolution also demanded the release of all hostages and called on parties to comply with their international obligations, especially for protecting civilians and to ensure humanitarian access for relief to Gaza.

The resolution is only symbolic because, unlike the UN Security Council, the UNGA does not have enforcement powers.

The UN has warned of a breakdown in the humanitarian system in Gaza where a majority of its 2.2 million residents have been displaced from their homes and face hunger and disease.

Illustrating the change in attitudes towards Israel, the earlier resolution on October 27 received 121 votes and it has risen to 153 for the latest resolution on Tuesday, while votes against came down from 14 to 10, and abstentions 44 to 23.

Last week, Washington vetoed a Security Council resolution calling for a ceasefire, the second time it has done so.

Russia vetoed a resolution and China joined it in vetoing another.

However, the Council passed one resolution calling for a humanitarian pause in the fighting after Russia, the US and Britain abstained.

On November 24, the warring parties agreed to a four-day humanitarian pause in the fighting to enable humanitarian relief supplies to go to Gaza and for hostages to be released.

It was extended for three more days.

More than 18,400 people have been killed by Israeli bombing in Gaza since October 7, when Hamas broke through Israel’s heavily guarded perimeter and massacred 1,200 people.

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