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UNSC calls for Gaza 'humanitarian pauses'; Palestinian envoy says resolution failed to condemn Israel

Delegates observe a minute of silence for those killed in the Israeli war on Gaza, during a meeting of the United Nations Security Council, at UN headquarters in New York, US, November 10, 2023. (Via Reuters)

The United Nations Security Council has called for "extended humanitarian pauses" in the Gaza Strip, breaking its silence after 40 days of an unrelenting genocidal war by the Israeli regime.

The resolution, prepared by Malta, was adopted with 12 votes in favor on Wednesday. The United States, Britain, and Russia abstained.

It "calls for urgent and extended humanitarian pauses and corridors throughout the Gaza Strip for a sufficient number of days" to allow aid to reach civilians in the besieged territory.

Israel rejected the UN Security Council Gaza resolution.

This is the first time that the council broke its silence on the war following repeated vetoes cast by the United States, Israel's biggest and oldest ally, against resolutions calling for cessation of the Israeli regime's aggression.

The United States opposed any use of the term "ceasefire," diplomats said. Other terms floated were "truce" and "pause."

"I know we are all disappointed about the inaction of the Council in the past 40 days," China's UN ambassador Jun Zhang said Wednesday.

According to the Gaza-based health ministry, 11,500 Palestinians, including 4,630 children and 3,130 women, have been killed and more than 29,000 others injured since October 7, when the regime launched the war in response to an operation staged by the territory's resistance movements.

Russia's UN Ambassador Vasily Nebenzya said "the humanitarian pause" should not replace the ceasefire in Gaza as "the ongoing aggression would hamper delivery of humanitarian aid to the territory."

Palestine has written to the Security Council, demanding an "immediate ceasefire" in the Israeli war, he noted, and expressed concern that the "provisions of the resolution that has been passed by the council concerning Gaza might not be implemented in practice."

The Palestinian UN envoy, meanwhile, underlined the resolution’s shortcomings, saying it failed to condemn Israel’s killings of more than 11,000 Palestinians, including some 5,000 Palestinian children, and the UN staff, journalists, humanitarian personnel, doctors, and rescue team members.

According to Riyad Mansour, the resolution also fell short of condemning the “indiscriminate attacks by Israel”, the regime's assaults on "hospitals and schools," and its arbitrary imprisonment of thousands of Palestinians.

Mansour accused the international community of displaying “selective outrage,” and asked Security Council members what they intended to do to get Israel to abide by the resolution they just passed.

The United States has, however, backed Tel Aviv's ferocious attacks on the Palestinian territory as an instance of "self-defense," and has provided the regime with thousands of arms consignments since the onset of the war.

The US even voted against a nonbinding resolution calling for an "immediate humanitarian truce" in the war, which was passed on October 27 at the UN General Assembly, where Washington does not wield a veto power.

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