Protection of civilians and upholding legal and humanitarian obligations

Year

2023

UN Body

General Assembly

Session

10

Session Type

Emergency Special

Agenda Item

5

Country Concerned

Israel

Condemnatory

Yes

Analysis

  • This one-sided resolution, adopted as part of the General Assembly's Tenth Emergency Special Session on Israel, is concerned about Palestinian rights only. Other than one line calling for the release of captives, there is no mention of any right by Israel or its citizens to basic security and self-defense. This resolution fails to expressly condemn Hamas' atrocities committed on October 7, and instead expresses concern about the ensuing "escalation of violence." While it generally condemns "all acts of violence" and calls for the release of captives, it does not mention Hamas by name or hold Hamas accountable for any of its violations against Israelis or Palestinians. At the same time, the resolution expressly criticizes Israel's response, particularly its order for Gazan civilians to evacuate to the South, which the resolution considers "forced transfer of the Palestinian civilian population." By criticizing Israel's efforts to comply with international law and protect Gaza civilians, including through its evacuation order, failing to condemn Hamas' use of civilians as human shields, and demanding an immediate humanitarian ceasefire which would enable Hamas to regroup and preserve its own supplies, the resolution ties Israel's hands and enables further Hamas terrorism.

Main Sponsors

Jordan

Vote

Yes - 121, No - 14, Abstain - 44, Absent - 14

Key Praise

None

Key Criticism

  • "Expressing grave concern at the latest escalation of violence since the 7 October 2023 attack and the grave deterioration of the situation in the region…"
  • "Condemning all acts of violence aimed at Palestinian and Israeli civilians, including all acts of terrorism and indiscriminate attacks, as well as all acts of provocation, incitement and destruction."
  • "Calls for an immediate, durable and sustained humanitarian truce leading to a cessation of hostilities."
  • "Demands that all parties immediately and fully comply with their obligations under international law…"
  • "Also demands the immediate, continuous, sufficient and unhindered provision of essential goods and services to civilians throughout the Gaza Strip…"
  • "Also calls for the rescinding of the order by Israel, the occupying Power, for Palestinian civilians and United Nations staff, as well as humanitarian and medical workers, to evacuate all areas in the Gaza Strip north of the Wadi Gaza and relocate to southern Gaza…"
  • "Firmly rejects any attempts at the forced transfer of the Palestinian civilian population."
  • "Calls for the immediate and unconditional release of all civilians who are being illegally held captive, demanding their safety, well-being and humane treatment in compliance with international law."
  • "Also calls for respect and protection, consistent with international humanitarian law, of all civilian and humanitarian facilities, including hospitals and other medical facilities…"
  • "Also stresses the need to urgently establish a mechanism to ensure the protection of the Palestinian civilian population…"

Full Vote

  • Yes121

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    • Norway
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    • Zimbabwe
  • No14

    • Austria
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    • Fiji
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    • Israel
    • Marshall Islands
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    • Nauru
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    • United States
  • Abstain44

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    • South Sudan
    • Sweden
    • Tunisia
    • Tuvalu
    • Ukraine
    • United Kingdom
    • Uruguay
    • Vanuatu
    • Zambia
  • Absent14

    • Benin
    • Burkina Faso
    • Burundi
    • Cambodia
    • Swaziland
    • Jamaica
    • Liberia
    • Rwanda
    • Samoa
    • Sao Tome and Principe
    • Seychelles
    • Togo
    • Turkmenistan
    • Venezuela