- Recent developments
- The UN General Assembly passed a resolution calling for a ceasefire in Gaza
- 153 countries vote in favor of the resolution, 23 abstain; The United States and Israel vote against the measure
- Israel announced that 19 of the 134 prisoners in Gaza had died in absentia
Cairo/Gaza, Dec. 12: With US President Joe Biden warning that Israel is losing international support because of its indiscriminate bombing of civilians in the war against Hamas, the United Nations has called for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in the Gaza Strip. fighters.
After dire warnings from UN officials about the deepening humanitarian crisis in Gaza, the 193-member UN The General Assembly passed a resolution calling for a cease-fire, with 153 countries voting in favor and 23 countries abstaining. The United States and Israel voted against the move along with eight other countries, arguing that the ceasefire would only benefit Hamas.
The resolution is nonbinding but carries political weight, reflecting a global view of the war. The US vetoed a similar call in the 15-member Security Council last week.
The Palestinian Authority welcomed the resolution and urged countries to pressure Israel to accept a ceasefire. An exiled Hamas official, Izzat El-Reshiq, echoed that reaction in a statement on Telegram, saying Israel must “stop its aggression, genocide and ethnic cleansing against our people.”
Before the resolution was passed, Biden said Israel now had the support of “most of the world,” including the United States and the European Union. “But they’re starting to lose that support with indiscriminate bombing,” he said at a campaign donor event in Washington.
Israel’s assault on Gaza to root out Hamas has killed at least 18,205 Palestinians and wounded nearly 50,000 since October 7, according to the Gaza Health Ministry.
Israel launched its offensive on October 7 after a cross-border attack by Hamas militants killed 1,200 people and took 240 hostages in southern Israel. Israel announced that 19 of the 134 people still held captive in Gaza had died in their absence after two bodies were recovered. The hostages were rescued.
In southern Gaza’s main city of Khan Younis, residents said Tuesday’s Israeli tank shelling was now focused on the city center. One said tanks were operating on the street where Hamas leader Yahya al-Sinwar’s home is located in Gaza.
Later that night, Israeli airstrikes on Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip killed 11 Palestinians, including two children, health officials said.
An elderly Palestinian, Tawfiq Abu Briqa, said his residential block in Khan Yunis was hit without warning as an Israeli airstrike brought down several buildings and caused casualties.
“The conscience of the world is dead, there is no humanity or any kind of morality,” Briga told Reuters as neighbors sifted through the rubble. “This is the third month in which we meet with death and destruction.”
And in Rafah, which borders Egypt to the south, Israeli airstrikes on homes killed 22 people, including children, health officials said. Civilian emergency workers searched for more people under the rubble.
Residents said the shelling of Rafah was the heaviest in days, with the Israeli military ordering residents to intervene for their own safety this month.
Abu Khalil (40), a father of six children, said that they could not sleep at night due to the blast, and in the morning they roamed the streets in search of food for their children. There was no food.
The UN’s World Food Program says half of Gaza’s population is starving. “No electricity, no fuel, no water, no medicine,” resident Mohammed Obaid said as he surveyed the debris in Rafah.
Diseases and illnesses including diarrhea, food poisoning, meningitis, respiratory infections, smallpox and scabies are spreading, according to the Gaza Ministry of Health.
In addition to warning that Israel is beginning to lose international support, Biden said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu must replace his hardline government and that Israel “can’t say no” to an independent Palestinian state in the end – which Israeli hardliners claim. resist.
In a further sign of global concern over the conduct of the conflict, now in its third month, Australia, Canada and New Zealand said they supported international efforts towards a sustainable ceasefire and expressed alarm at the plight of civilians in Gaza.
“The price of defeating Hamas cannot be the continued suffering of all Palestinian citizens,” the three leaders said in a joint statement.
All three countries said they support the Palestinians’ right to self-determination, but that Hamas cannot have a role in the future governance of Gaza.
Israel’s military attacked several positions used to fire rockets into its territory in the past day, raided a Hamas compound where it found about 250 rockets, along with other weapons, and struck a weapons factory.
The ground offensive that began in the north has expanded into the southern part of the Gaza Strip since the collapse of a week-long ceasefire in early December. More than 100 Israeli soldiers have been killed in Gaza since the ground invasion began in late October.
The Wall Street Journal and ABC reported that the Israeli military has begun pumping seawater into Hamas’ tunnel complex, where the militant group is believed to be hiding fighters and ammunition and launching attacks on Israeli troops in street fighting.
Biden said he had heard unconfirmed reports that there were no hostages in the tunnels. Some of the hostages released during the ceasefire reported that they were trapped in the tunnel. The Israeli military said it was investigating the reports.
Gaza Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qitra said Israeli forces raided Kamal Adwan Hospital in northern Gaza on Tuesday and detained its director, Dr. Ahmad al-Kahloud, and all medical staff.
He said that they are being investigated in the emergency department. The Israeli military did not respond to a request for comment on the incident.
Nidal al-Mughrabi in Cairo, Bassam Masoud in Gaza, Michelle Nichols in the United Nations, Humeyra Pamuk and Daphne Psaledakis in Washington, Ari Rabinovitch in Jerusalem, Henriette Chacar in Jerusalem, Tom Perry in Beirut, Claudai, Clauda al-Khalidi in Amman and Aidan Lewis in Cairo. and Ahmed Mohammed Hasan; Written by Angus MacSwan and Cynthia Osterman; Editing by Alison Williams, Deepa Babington and Lisa Schumacher
Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
A veteran reporter with nearly 25 years of experience covering the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, including several wars and the signing of the first historic peace agreement between the two sides.