The UN Security Council took 46 days to call for a humanitarian pause in the Israel-Hamas conflict, a conflict that has claimed over 12,000 lives, with most being civilians and many children. Despite the symbolic resolution, it lacked real enforcement power and failed to include threats of penalties. The US, which had previously vetoed a resolution on Gaza, abstained from voting, allowing the resolution to pass.
The relief effort to send supplies to Gaza through the Rafah border crossing from Egypt faced setbacks, as it ran out of fuel and experienced a communication shutdown. The resolution, though a victory for some Council members, was deemed merely symbolic and insufficient to address the escalating crisis.
The US abstained from voting despite its demands not being met, highlighting its reluctance to support a ceasefire. The conflict, which began with a horrendous attack by Hamas on Israel in October, has seen about 1,200 deaths in Israel, including many children, and about 11,078 casualties in the Hamas-controlled enclave of Gaza.
The change in the international climate and growing demands for a ceasefire influenced the US decision to allow the resolution to pass. Russia, taking advantage of anti-US sentiments over Gaza, supported the resolution. Australia, on an eight-match unbeaten streak, is eyeing an unprecedented sixth World Cup crown, while India, unbeaten in all 10 matches, aims for its third Men’s ODI World Cup title.
The situation in Gaza remains dire, with relief operations coming to a halt due to a lack of fuel and communication shutdown. The UNRWA, the largest UN humanitarian organization, has run out of fuel for vehicles and machinery, and telecommunications operators in Gaza have shut down due to a lack of fuel. Israel, under US pressure, allowed a limited number of relief vehicles to cross over but did not permit fuel shipments.
The UN Assembly, despite appearing to be all talk, acknowledged the scale of devastation in Gaza in a meeting on Friday. The conflict has taken a heavy toll on civilians, with one in every 57 people in Gaza killed or wounded in the past five weeks. Hospitals, protected under international humanitarian law, have become targets in the fighting. The UN continues to emphasize the urgent need for a humanitarian pause and the release of hostages, including babies and octogenarians, who have been in captivity for 41 days.
(With Agency Inputs)