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UN Security Council adopts resolution for ‘humanitarian pauses’ in Gaza

UN Security Council adopts resolution for ‘humanitarian pauses’ in Gaza

by host

The U.N. Security Council approved a resolution Wednesday calling for “urgent and extended humanitarian pauses and corridors throughout the Gaza Strip,” marking the first time a resolution on the issue has passed since the start of the Israel-Hamas war on October 7.

The 15-member body passed the resolution, which had been introduced by Malta, by a margin of 12 votes to zero after four earlier resolutions failed to pass. The U.S., U.K. and Russia abstained.

The U.S. and U.K. reportedly abstained because the resolution didn’t explicitly condemn Hamas, while Russia abstained because it didn’t mention a cease-fire, the country’s ambassador said. Instead, it called for humanitarian pauses “for a sufficient number of days” to allow aid to reach civilians and for “the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages held by Hamas and other groups, especially children.”

Over the last 40 days, Israel’s airstrikes and ground operations in Gaza have killed more than 11,000 Palestinians, including over 4,500 children, according to the Palestinian Authority. Israel’s siege of the densely populated Palestinian territory has led to a humanitarian crisis after it cut off food, fuel, water and electricity to 2.2 million Palestinians. The move came in response to the mass Hamas attacks on October 7 against Israel, in which militants killed 1,400 people and took over 240 hostage.

Gaza’s largest hospital, Al-Shifa, ran out of fuel to run life-saving machines in recent days, as Israeli officials claimed Hamas has used it for its operations and Israeli troops this week raided the hospital, where thousands have sheltered. The Israel Defense Forces overnight released footage of what they said were Hamas weapons found inside the hospital.

Israel’s Ambassador to the U.N. Gilad Erdan said on X, formerly Twitter, that his country would refuse to abide by the resolution.

“The @UN Security Council’s resolution is disconnected from reality and is meaningless. Regardless of what the Council decides, Israel will continue acting according to int’l law while the Hamas terrorists will not even read the resolution at all, let alone abide by it,” he said.

U.N. Security Council resolutions are legally binding but in practice many parties have ignored them. Israel has ignored previous resolutions, namely one in 2016 calling for an end to all settlement activity in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem.

Riyad Mansour, Palestine’s permanent observer to the United Nations, called for Israel to be held accountable if it did not abide by the resolution. Mansour said of the humanitarian situation in Gaza: “It is a failure of humanity of terrifying magnitude.”

He took aim at Israel’s actions since the Hamas attack: “Let us stop pretending we don’t hear what this government is saying. Its plan is the continued dispossession, displacement and denial of rights of the Palestinian people. To complete the Nakba.”

Nakba, or “catastrophe” in Arabic, refers to the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians during the Arab-Israeli war in 1948.

“This madness must be brought to an end. It is time for peace,” he added.

This story has been updated.

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