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13/12/23 | 9:53 am

India votes in favour of UN resolution demanding humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza

India expressed its support for a resolution at the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, calling for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas conflict. 

The resolution also called for the unconditional release of all hostages and the protection of civilians. The General Assembly adopted the resolution with 153 votes in favor, while 23 countries abstained. The United States, Israel, and eight other nations voted against the resolution.

In her statement, India's Permanent Representative to the UN, Ruchira Kamboj, highlighted the multifaceted nature of the situation, addressing concerns such as the terrorist attack in Israel on October 7, the humanitarian crisis, civilian casualties—especially among women and children—and the importance of upholding international humanitarian law.

“There is an enormous humanitarian crisis and a large-scale loss of civilian lives, especially of women and children. There is the issue of observing international humanitarian law in all circumstances. And there is the endeavour to find a peaceful and lasting two-state solution to the longstanding Palestine question,” Kamboj said.

Palestinian U.N. envoy Riyad Mansour, citing large pro-Palestinian protests around the world, said that the US could not continue “to ignore this massive power.” He described the General Assembly vote as a culmination of public sentiment.

General Assembly resolutions are not binding but carry political weight, reflecting a global view on the war. U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has long called for a humanitarian ceasefire and last week made the rare move to warn the Security Council of the global threat posed by the war. 

Israel has bombarded Gaza from the air, imposed a siege and launched a ground offensive in retaliation for an Oct. 7 attack by Hamas that Israel says killed 1,200 people and saw 240 people taken hostage. Gaza's health ministry says 18,205 Palestinians have been killed and nearly 50,000 wounded.

(with inputs from Reuters)

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