Saturday, 28 October 2023 10:40

Gaza crisis: General Assembly adopts resolution calling for ‘humanitarian truce’, civilian protection

UN Photo/Evan Schneider
General Assembly adopts resolution on Protection of Civilians and Upholding Legal and Humanitarian Obligations in Gaza.

The United Nations General Assembly on Friday adopted a major resolution on the Gaza crisis, calling for an “immediate, durable and sustained humanitarian truce leading to a cessation of hostilities.”

The resolution breaks the deadlock at the UN over a response to the Israel-Palestine crisis which erupted on 7 October, where Member States on the Security Council have failed to reach agreement on four draft resolutions.

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Voting result

The breakdown of the recorded vote, conducted shortly before 4 PM (New York time), included 120 members in favour and 14 against, with 45 abstentions.

As decided by the General Assembly in earlier in the day, the resolution required a two-thirds majority of members present and voting to be adopted.

Click here to see the list of members voting.

Protect civilians and humanitarians

In the resolution “protection of civilians and upholding legal and humanitarian obligations”, the Assembly, also demanded that all parties “immediately and fully comply” with obligations under international humanitarian and human rights laws, “particularly in regard to the protection of civilians and civilian objects.”

It also urged the protection of humanitarian personnel, persons hors de combat, and humanitarian facilities and assets, and to enable and facilitate humanitarian access for essential supplies and services to reach all civilians in need in the Gaza Strip.”

Furthermore, the resolution called for rescinding of the order by Israel, “the occupying Power”, for Palestinian civilians, UN staff and humanitarian workers to evacuate all areas in the Gaza Strip north of Wadi Gaza and relocate to the south.

Release all civilians

The General Assembly also called for the “immediate and unconditional release” of all civilians being illegally held captive, demanding their safety, well-being and humane treatment in compliance with international law.

It also reaffirmed that a “just and lasting solution” to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can only be achieved by peaceful means, based on the relevant UN resolutions and in accordance with international law, and on the basis of the two-State solution.

The Assembly also decides to adjourn the tenth emergency special session temporarily and to authorize the President of the General Assembly at its most recent session to resume its meeting upon request from Member States.

Failed Amendment

Prior to taking action on the resolution, an amendment led by Canada did not pass, as it failed to reach the required two-thirds majority.

That amendment would have “unequivocally reject[ed] and condemn[ed] the terrorist attacks by Hamas that took place in Israel starting on 7 October 2023 and the taking of hostages”.