UN Security Council adopts resolution calling for humanitarian pauses in Gaza Strip

The United Nations Security Council has adopted a resolution calling for a series of humanitarian pauses in the besieged Gaza strip to allow for aid delivery and medical evacuations.

Twelve states voted in favor of adopting the resolution during Wednesday’s session. Three countries — the US, Russia, and the UK — abstained from the vote.

The resolution calls “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”.

Three countries – Britain, Russia and the USA – abstained but it passed with 12 votes in favour.

Israel has slammed the resolution that called for “extended humanitarian pauses” to fighting in the Gaza Strip.

Israel’s ambassador to the UN, Gilad Erdan, in reacting to the resolution, said, “The decision is disconnected from reality and holds no significance. Israel already operates in Gaza according to international law, while Hamas terrorists will ignore the decision and certainly not act in accordance with it.”

“Israel will continue its actions until the destruction of Hamas and the return of the kidnapped,” he added.

The Security Council is the UN’s most powerful body but is frequently hampered by the veto power held by each of its five permanent members. Twelve of the council’s 15 members approved the October draft, with the UK and Russia abstaining, and a US veto.

About a month ago, the United States vetoed a draft resolution at the UNSC that called for a humanitarian pause in Gaza.

It is not the first time that Israel has rejected a resolution from the UN Security Council.

2016: Resolution demands halt to Israeli settlements

Back in 2016, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu refused to recognise a UNSC resolution demanding a halt to Israeli settlement activity on occupied Palestinian territory.

Israel also recalled its ambassadors to New Zealand and Senegal for supporting the vote.

2009: Resolution calls for Gaza ceasefire

In January 2009, then-UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon “expressed disappointment” to then-Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert that violence had continued after the council passed a resolution calling for an “immediate ceasefire” in Gaza.

2004: Israel demolished homes in Rafah refugee camp

In 2004, Israel continued to demolish homes in the Rafah refugee camp after the UNSC passed a resolution calling for it to stop.

The UN announced at the time that Israel demolished a further 167 buildings in the seven days after the resolution passed.

1967: Numerous resolutions on occupied East Jerusalem

Israel has ignored more than a dozen resolutions passed by the UNSC denouncing Israel’s occupation of East Jerusalem dating back to 1967.

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