UN General Assembly Votes For a Cease-Fire In War Between Israel and Hamas

December 13, 2023

No more time is left. The carnage must stop.

Dennis Francis, president of the UN General Assembly, on the new resolution passed for a cease-fire in Gaza.

What To Know: On Tuesday, the UN General Assembly voted in favor of an immediate cease-fire in the war between Israel and Hamas. The resolution does not mention Hamas or the Hamas terrorist attack on Israel October 7th.

Why It Matters: While General Assembly resolutions are not legally binding, “they carry political weight and are a symbolic reflection of the wider perspective among the U.N.’s 193 members” (The New York Times). It highlights opposition to the war.

The resolution, put forward by the UN’s Arab Group and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, received 153 votes in favor, 10 votes against, and 23 abstentions. It “said Gaza faced a ‘catastrophic humanitarian’ situation, emphasized that both Palestinian and Israeli civilians must be protected under international humanitarian laws and demanded that all parties abide by these laws,” (The New York Times). It also called for the release of hostages held in Gaza, but again, makes no mention the hostages are held by Hamas. READ THE RESOLUTION

The United States, Israel, Austria, the Czech Republic, Guatemala, Liberia, Micronesia, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, and Paraguay voted against the resolution. The United States and Austria proposed to have a condemnation of the Hamas-terrorist attacks added to the resolution, but it was denied.

The session was convened after the U.S. blocked a cease-fire resolution in the Security Council last week, for the same reason (the absence of Hamas from the resolution). U.S. Deputy Ambassador Robert Wood, “declared that halting military action would allow Hamas to continue to rule Gaza and ‘only plant the seeds for the next war,'” (The Associated Press). While the U.N. senior leadership and humanitarian aid agencies “have said that a cease-fire is the only viable way to ease the suffering of Gaza’s 2.2 million people” (The New York Times).

Also To Note: U.S. President Joe Biden took a tougher stance on Tuesday as he said, “[Israel is] starting to lose that support by indiscriminate bombing that takes place” (The Associated Press).

Read More:

U.N. General Assembly Votes for Israel-Hamas Cease-Fire, Countering U.S. Veto (The New York Times)

Biden takes a tougher stance on Israel’s “indiscriminate bombing’ of Gaza (The Associated Press)

US vetoes UN resolution backed by many nations demanding immediate humanitarian cease-fire in Gaza (The Associated Press)

by Sarah Pinkerton,