UN calls for Gaza ceasefire amid Israel-US diplomatic tension

UN calls for Gaza ceasefire amid Israel-US diplomatic tension

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White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan will visit Israel this week and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin will visit the Middle East next week. Biden said Sullivan would emphasize the US commitment to Israel as well as the need to protect civilian life in Gaza

At least 18,205 Palestinians, including many children, have been killed and about 50,000 injured in Israel’s offensive on Gaza since October 7 to root out Hamas, according to the Gaza Health Ministry.

According to the United Nations and the Gaza Health Ministry, the conflict has led to starvation, 85 percent of the population has been displaced from their homes, and diseases are spreading.

Israel launched its attack after a cross-border attack by Hamas fighters killed 1,200 people and took 240 hostages in southern Israel on 7 October. Israel on Tuesday declared 19 of the 134 people held captive in Gaza dead in absentia after the bodies of two hostages were recovered.

The UN resolution is not binding, but carries political significance, reflecting global attitudes on the war. The United States vetoed a similar call in the 15-member Security Council last week, but it does not have a veto in the General Assembly.

Tuesday’s motion had 153 votes in favor, 10 against and 23 abstentions. In a sign of weak support for Israel, the resolution passed by a wider margin than a similar UN measure in October, with 121 votes in favor, 14 against and 44 abstentions.

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