UN adopts resolution urging humanitarian pauses in Gaza

In a significant move, the United Nations Security Council has approved a resolution calling for a series of humanitarian pauses in Gaza, according to reports from the American media.

The resolution received support from twelve states during the session held on Wednesday, while the United States, Russia, and the United Kingdom chose to abstain from the vote.

The adopted resolution emphasises the need for "urgent and extended humanitarian pauses and corridors throughout the Gaza Strip for a sufficient number of days to enable, consistent with international humanitarian law, the full, rapid, safe, and unhindered humanitarian access for United Nations humanitarian agencies and their implementing partners," according to reports.

Human Rights Watch welcomed the resolution, characterising it as a rare and powerful message to Israel, Hamas, and other armed groups.

Louis Charbonneau, UN director at Human Rights Watch, stated, "The UN Security Council just sent a rare and powerful message to Israel, Hamas and other armed groups that compliance with international humanitarian law is non-negotiable. So far, there has been widespread disregard for civilians by all parties. That the US finally stopped paralyzing the council on Israel and Palestine so this resolution on the plight of children in Gaza could move forward should be a wake-up call to Israeli authorities that global concern, even among its allies, is strong."

About a month ago, the United States had vetoed a similar draft resolution at the UNSC, proposed by Brazil, which called for a humanitarian pause in Gaza. The draft condemned Hamas' attacks on Israel, urged the release of hostages, and called on all parties to comply with international law.

Following the recent vote, US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield explained that the US sought more time for on-the-ground diplomacy to play out.

The Security Council, despite being the UN's most powerful body, often faces challenges due to the veto power held by its five permanent members. The October draft received approval from twelve members, with the UK and Russia abstaining and the US using its veto, according to CNN.

Amid escalating tensions and humanitarian concerns, the UN's humanitarian chief, Martin Griffiths, called for an end to the "carnage" in Gaza.

While Israel has claimed that underground bunkers beneath Al-Shifa hospital, the largest hospital in Gaza, were used by Hamas as a command centre, hospital officials and Hamas have denied these allegations.

The situation remains complex, with ongoing scrutiny and international efforts to address the humanitarian crisis in the region, reports say.

Over 11,300 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli strikes on Gaza since October 7. In Israel, the official death toll from Hamas's attacks stands roughly at 1,200.


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