The UN General Assembly will hold a special meeting on Tuesday to discuss the situation in Gaza, officials and diplomats said Sunday.
This came after the United States last week vetoed a Security Council resolution for a ceasefire in Israel’s war with Hamas.
The meeting was called at the instance of representatives for Egypt and Mauritania “in their respective capacities as Chair of the Arab Group and Chair of the Organization for Islamic Cooperation,” a spokesperson for the Assembly president said.
According to diplomatic sources, the General Assembly, whose resolutions are nonbinding, could vote on a text for a ceasefire resolution at the meeting.
A draft of the text seen by AFP closely follows the language of Friday’s vetoed Security Council resolution, “expressing grave concern over the catastrophic humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip.”
It calls for “an immediate humanitarian cease-fire” as well as the “immediate and unconditional release of all hostages.”
The Security Council resolution vetoed by the US failed to condemn Hamas’s October 7 massacres in Israel — in which thousands of terrorists killed about 1,200 people, mostly civilians, amid acts of horrific brutality and took about 240 hostages — nor did it acknowledge Israel’s right to defend itself.
The war against Hamas in Gaza was triggered by the terror group’s shock onslaught on October 7. In response, Israel launched an aerial campaign and subsequent ground operation through which it vowed to eliminate Hamas and end its 16-year rule.
On Friday, the United States blocked the Security Council ceasefire resolution, which came after Guterres raised Article 99 — which hadn’t been used at the UN since 1971 — due to the “high risk of the total collapse of the humanitarian support system in Gaza.”
Guterres said Hamas’s brutality against Israelis on October 7 “can never justify the collective punishment of the Palestinian people.”
“While indiscriminate rocket fire by Hamas into Israel, and the use of civilians as human shields, are in contravention of the laws of war, such conduct does not absolve Israel of its own violations,” he stressed.
The UN chief detailed what he called the “humanitarian nightmare” Gaza is facing, citing intense, widespread and ongoing Israeli attacks from air, land and sea that reportedly have hit 339 education facilities, 26 hospitals, 56 health care facilities, 88 mosques and three churches.