June 15, 2024 1:55 am

Israel angrily dismisses UN truce resolution on Gaza

Israel has angrily dismissed a UN resolution urging a “humanitarian truce” in Gaza, vowing that it will continue to defend itself.

The UN General Assembly overwhelmingly called for an immediate humanitarian truce between Israel and Hamas.

Israeli UN Ambassador Gilad Erdan said the UN no longer held “even one ounce of legitimacy or relevance”.

The US voted against the resolution but has called for a “humanitarian pause” in Israeli military operations in Gaza.

Israel’s military on Friday said it was expanding its operations, as its strikes intensified across the Gaza region.

Spokesman Daniel Hagari said forces had “increased the attacks in Gaza. The air force widely attacks underground targets and terrorist infrastructure, very significantly”.

He again told Gaza residents to move further south.

Israel has been bombing Gaza since the 7 October Hamas attacks that killed 1,400 people in Israel and saw 229 people taken hostage by Hamas.

The UN General Assembly on Friday voted in favour of an immediate truce in Gaza. There were 120 votes in favour, 14 against and 45 abstentions.

The resolution – put forward by Jordan on behalf of the Arab group – also condemns all acts of violence against Palestinian and Israeli civilians, including all “terror and indiscriminate attacks”.

The vote is not legally binding, but carries moral weight due to the universality of the UN’s membership.

Israel’s Ambassador Erdan called it “a dark day for the UN and for mankind,” vowing his country would use “every means” in fighting Hamas.

“Today is a day that will go down as infamy. We have all witnessed that the UN no longer holds even one ounce of legitimacy or relevance,” he said.

He accused those who voted yes of preferring to support “the defence of Nazi terrorists” instead of Israel.

A view of explosion in Gaza, seen from Sderot in southern Israel
IMAGE SOURCE,REUTERS
Image caption,

Israel says it is expanding its operations, as strikes intensify across Gaza

US national security spokesperson John Kirby said the US would support breaks in fighting to help hostages get out of Gaza – and to allow more aid in.

“We would support humanitarian pauses for stuff getting in, as well as for people getting out, and that includes pushing for fuel to get in and for the restoration of electrical power,” he said.

The White House has not commented on the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) announcement that Israel is expanding its ground operations into Gaza.

The Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza says 7,000 people have been killed since Israel’s retaliatory bombing began. There is now a critical shortage of essential services, thousands have fled their homes and the infrastructure has been heavily damaged.

Among international leaders calling for a ceasefire was France’s President Emmanuel Macron.

Speaking before Israel said it was increasing its attacks in Gaza, he said he had told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli President Isaac Herzog that the population of Gaza must be protected.

“A humanitarian truce is useful today to be able to protect those who are on the ground, who have suffered bombings,” he said at the end of a two-day summit of EU leaders in Brussels.

Mr Macron reiterated that Israel had a right to defend itself, but he said “the complete blockade, the indiscriminate bombardment and even more the prospect of a massive ground operation” posed significant risks for the civilian population in Gaza.

Meanwhile, Jordan warned the outcome of what it called a “ground war” would be a humanitarian catastrophe.

Israel this week called for the UN’s secretary general to step down over comments he made about the Gaza war.

António Guterres said in a speech to the Security Council on Tuesday that he condemned unequivocally Hamas’s deadly attacks in Israel two weeks ago but that they “did not happen in a vacuum”.

Israel accused him of “justifying terrorism” and called for his immediate resignation.

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