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U.N. Security Council approves resolution calling for urgent humanitarian pauses in Gaza and release of hostages

Israel cites evidence of Hamas operating in hospital
Israel says it found evidence Hamas was operating in Al-Shifa hospital 03:35

United Nations – The U.N. Security Council on Wednesday voted in favor of a resolution calling for pauses in the fighting in Gaza to allow for the provision of humanitarian aid.

The 15-nation council's resolution — the first since the beginning of the Israel-Hamas war — was adopted 40 days after Hamas' Oct. 7 attacks on southern Israel, which Israel says killed at least 1,200 people, most of them civilians.

The 12-0 vote was not unanimous. The U.S., U.K. and Russia abstained on the measure, with the other dozen council members voting in favor.

The resolution calls for "urgent and extended humanitarian pauses and corridors throughout the Gaza Strip for a sufficient number of days" to enable humanitarian access for U.N. humanitarian agencies and their partners, as well as the "unhindered provision of essential goods and services" to Gaza.

The resolution also calls for the unconditional release of hostages taken by Hamas.

Additionally, it demands that all parties to the conflict comply with international law, "notably with regard to the protection of civilians, especially children."

Dr. Riyad Mansour (right), Palestinian Ambassador to the UN, attends a Security Council meeting on the Israel-Hamas war on November 10, 2023.
Dr. Riyad Mansour (right), Palestinian Ambassador to the U.N., attends a Security Council meeting on the Israel-Hamas war on November 10, 2023. TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images

"The council's resolution is disconnected from reality and is meaningless," Israeli U.N. Ambassador Gilad Erdan said in a statement rejecting the measure. 

"Regardless of what the council decides, Israel will continue acting according to international law," said Erdan, who was still in Washington, D.C., after Tuesday's pro-Israel rally. "It is truly shameful!" he added.

Speaking at the Security Council, Israel's deputy U.N. ambassador Jonathan Miller criticized the resolution for focusing "solely on the humanitarian situation in Gaza."

"It makes no mention of what led up to this moment," Miller said. "The resolution makes it seem as if what we are witnessing in Gaza happened of its own accord."

Palestinian U.N. Ambassador Riyad Mansour emphasized the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Gaza, telling diplomats, "Our hospitals have been destroyed. Our people have no food or clean water." 

More than 11,070 Palestinians, two-thirds of them women and minors, have been killed since the war began, according to the Health Ministry in Hamas-controlled Gaza. The U.N. estimates that some 1.5 million people — more than two-thirds of Gaza's population — have fled fighting in the north of Gaza to head south.

"It is a failure of humanity of terrifying magnitude," Mansour said. 

Before the vote, the council rejected an amendment by Russia calling for a "humanitarian truce leading to a cessation of hostilities." 

United Arab Emirates' U.N. Ambassador Lana Nusseibeh said to diplomats, also before the vote, "Outside this building, and in our region in particular, the council appears indifferent to the carnage and dismissive of the suffering. " 

U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Linda Thomas-Greenfield acknowledged the loss of 101 U.N. staff members in the conflict. Speaking to reporters after the meeting, she noted, "Terrorists continue to lob bombs into Israel." 

Thomas-Greenfield also expressed her horror that a number of council members still hadn't condemned Hamas' attacks on Israel.

"What are they afraid of?" she asked. "What is stopping them from unequivocally condemning the actions of a terrorist organization that is determined to kill Jews."

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