A United Nations General Assembly resolution calling for an “immediate, durable and sustainable humanitarian truce” between Israel and Hamas passed by 120-14 votes, with 45 abstentions, on Oct. 27.  

Demonstrators protest in solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza. London, Oct. 21, 2023.

The resolution, introduced by Jordan, stressed the need “to urgently establish a mechanism to ensure the protection of the Palestinian civilian population” and “firmly rejected any attempts [by Israel] at forced transfer of the Palestinian civilian population.” It also demanded “continuous, sufficient and unhindered” provision of essential supplies and service into the Gaza Strip and that all parties comply with international humanitarian law. 

While nonbinding, it was nevertheless historically and politically significant as a reflection of just how isolated the U.S. and Israel are in this conflict. The U.S. and Israel’s votes against Palestine have made them outliers on this issue. The U.N. vote reflects a growing divide between imperialist countries — like the U.S, Israel, Britain, Japan and Germany — and the Global South, countries which are increasingly rising up against centuries of colonial oppression. 

A number of countries’ delegates walked out when Israel’s delegate spoke, while there was long applause for the Palestinian speaker. 

Around the globe, the masses of people have taken to the streets in record numbers to support Palestine and condemn the genocidal assaults on Gaza by Israel with U.S. backing and funding. The General Assembly vote stands in stark contrast to the earlier U.N. Security Council resolution for a ceasefire in Gaza that was vetoed by the United States.

Several delegates, including Cuban Foreign Affairs Minister Bruno Rodriquez, pointed to the UNSC vote as an ongoing example of the failure of the U.N. to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. China released a statement calling for the right of return for Palestinians.

Betsey Piette


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Betsey Piette

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