A resolution was introduced by Jordan and passed the General Assembly overwhelmingly, with 120 countries voting in favor of the resolution, 14 against and 45 abstained. Applause broke out in the assembly hall when the positive vote count was displayed.
The resolution calls for an “immediate, durable and sustained humanitarian truce leading to a cessation of hostilities,” as well as “immediate, full, sustained, safe and unhindered humanitarian access.” It also asks Israel to rescind its recommendation to evacuate northern Gaza.
The resolution urges “the immediate and unconditional release of all civilians who are being illegally held captive,” but does not name Hamas as the captor.
The US and Israel had denounced the motion, arguing that it did not include explicit criticism of Hamas.
Earlier Friday, an amendment introduced by the Canadians and backed by the United States to include harsh language about Hamas in the resolution was rejected by the General Assembly.
The vote comes as the Israel Defense Forces announced earlier Friday it is “expanding ground operations” in the Gaza Strip and “operating forcefully” on all fronts to fulfill its goals in the war with Hamas.
Israel has rejected the call for a ceasefire in Gaza approved by the UNGA, with the Israeli foreign minister calling it “despicable” in a post on social media.
“We reject outright the UN General Assembly despicable call for a ceasefire,” Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen wrote on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.
“Israel intends to eliminate Hamas just as the world dealt with the Nazis and Daesh.”
In a speech following the resolution’s passage, Israeli Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan said, “Today is a day that will go down in infamy. We have all witnessed that the UN no longer holds even one ounce of legitimacy or relevance.”
“The majority of the international community has shown that it prefers to support the defense of Nazi terrorists rather than support the law-abiding state of Israel to defend it civilians,” he added.
The Palestinian Authority foreign ministry welcomed the “overwhelming support” received for the UN resolution calling for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war.
“This vote signals the commitment of a moral majority of the international community to uphold its obligations and the rejection of double standards and politicization of international humanitarian law,” the West Bank-based ministry said in a statement.
It added the “international community has spoken in a clear and united voice against Israel’s ongoing crimes and deliberate violations of international law,” adding that UN countries have “stood their ground in defense of international law as the universal rule that applies to all without exception.”