Tanzania votes in favour of UN resolution over Gaza war truce

The UN General Assembly votes for an "immediate humanitarian truce" in Gaza, as the Israel-Hamas conflict raged for a 21st day at the UN in New York on October 27, 2023. PHOTO | AFP

What you need to know:

  • In East Africa, Tanzania, Kenya, and the DRC voted in favour of the resolution, while Uganda and South Sudan abstained. Rwanda and Burundi were not present.

Dar es Salaam. Tanzania is among the countries that voted in favour of the UN General Assembly resolution, which on Friday called for an “immediate humanitarian truce” in Gaza.

In East Africa, Tanzania, Kenya, and the DRC voted in favour of the resolution, while Uganda and South Sudan abstained. Rwanda and Burundi were not present.

The non-binding resolution, criticised by Israel and the United States for failing to mention Hamas, received 120 votes in favour, 14 against, and 45 abstentions from the UN members.

Hamas welcomed the General Assembly call. Israel’s ambassador to the world body, Gilad Erdan, called it an “infamy”.

Speaking before the vote, Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said that voting against the resolution “means approving this senseless war, this senseless killing”. Israel denounced the vote as “infamy.”

The resolution is non-binding but serves as a barometer of global opinion towards the fighting between Israel and Hamas.

The body convened as Israel intensified its bombardment on Gaza, where phone and internet service have been cut off and Israel has engaged in limited ground skirmishes before an expected invasion.

The General Assembly voted after the UN Security Council had failed to take action over two weeks, with the US and Russia using their veto powers to block proposals supported by each other.

The war between Israel and the Palestinian armed group Hamas raged for a 22nd day yesterday, with more than 7,300 Palestinians estimated to have been killed by Israel’s relentless retaliatory bombardments, mainly civilians and many of them children.

Hamas militants launched a surprise attack on Israel on October 7, killing at least 1,400 people, mostly civilians, according to Israeli officials.

‘Avalanche of human suffering’

UN chief Antonio Guterres warned Friday that Gaza faces “an unprecedented avalanche of human suffering” due to a lack of food, water and power during the Israeli bombing in response to the Hamas attack.

“I repeat my call for a humanitarian ceasefire, the unconditional release of all hostages, and the delivery of life-saving supplies,” Guterres said.

Before the war, about 500 trucks a day rolled into Gaza to bring in supplies, but in recent days the average is down to only 12, which enter from the Rafah border crossing with Egypt, he said.

The adopted resolution calls for an “immediate, durable and sustained humanitarian truce leading to a cessation of hostilities” and “firmly rejects any attempts at the forced transfer of the Palestinian civilian population”.

It also stresses the need to avoid a wider escalation of the fighting and demands increased humanitarian aid for Gaza, where only a small handful of trucks carrying aid have been allowed to enter over the last week.

A Canadian-introduced amendment to the resolution that would have added a condemnation of the Hamas attack did not receive the necessary two-thirds majority.

The resolution calls for the immediate release of all civilians being held hostage and condemns “all acts of terrorism and indiscriminate attacks,” including those on Israeli civilians, but does not name Hamas specifically.

Israeli UN ambassador Gilad Erdan said that “a ceasefire means giving Hamas time to rearm itself” and that the vote was not intended to bring peace but to “tie Israel’s hands.”