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UNGA seeks resolution to Mideast conflict

After four failures in the Security Council to pass a humanitarian resolution on Gaza, the General Assembly is on Thursday reconvening a special emergency session on the Israel-Palestinian conflict. The General Assembly is considering its own draft resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire and that all parties comply with their obligations under international law but unlike Council resolutions, GA decisions are not legally-binding.

The General Assembly now takes up the matter after Security Council members failed to find much needed consensus. As all UN member states now have the ability to weigh in on a conflict that’s been on the UN’s agenda for decades. Dennis Francis, who is the General Assembly President, opened the debate.

“The brutality of the Hamas assaults is shocking and unacceptable; and has no place – I repeat, has no place – in our world. Similarly, I condemn and reject any indiscriminate targeting of innocent civilians in the Gaza Strip, and the scale of destruction of critical infrastructure by Israel. The ceaseless bombardment of the Gaza Strip by Israel and its consequences are deeply alarming. The right of self-defence does not and cannot lawfully give license to undertake indiscriminate and disproportionate reprisal.”

The GA-draft calls for an immediate ceasefire and for all parties to fully comply with their obligations under international law; demands the immediate and unhindered provision of essential goods and services to civilians throughout the Gaza Strip, calls for the rescission of an Israeli order for Palestinians to evacuate northern Gaza and for the release of all civilians, including the hostages held by Hamas.

The Palestinian envoy’s Riyad Mansour, “Vote to stop the killing. Vote for humanitarian aid to reach those whose very survival depends on it. Vote to stop this madness. Choose justice, not vengeance. Choose to defend the law. Not justify its breach. Choose peace. Not more wars. Vote to put an end to two. Almost three weeks of the worst standards we have seen in decades. To restore some credibility of this place and the rules it is supposed to embody. Do not miss this chance. Lives are hanging in the balance.”

Israel’s Ambassador Gild Erdan called the resolution biased and urged member states to reject it.

“In these very halls, we have perpetrators of the most grotesque human rights violations and crimes against humanity who also exploit their power and so-called members of the family of nations, only to single out law-abiding democracies such as Israel. If this organisation wants to maintain any shred of legitimacy, it is imperative that you please, distinguished representatives, no longer play along with this farce of anti-Israel double standards. Vote against this biased resolution. Stand on the right side of history.”

The State of Jordan, that authored the GA-draft, implored the Assembly to vote in favour of the resolution.

Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi, “We all know Israel will ignore it. It did ignore many, many, many UN resolutions before it. Let’s unite for the right of every Palestinian and every Israeli child to live free from the horrors of war, free from fear, and looking for a life full of promise and full of opportunity. For the sake of the Palestinian people and for the sake of the Israeli people, vote yes.”

112 member and observer states are due to take the floor before the vote on the resolution takes place, likely on Friday, providing a clear indication on where all countries stand on the conflict.

Source: eNCA

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