Much of the international community is calling for a ceasefire in the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas, but Israel is having none of it.
This week, Eli Cohen, Israel’s foreign minister, said his country would continue fighting in Gaza as it seeks to completely eradicate Hamas, regardless of whether the international community provides support.
He added that coming to another ceasefire agreement would only be a “gift” to the terrorist organization. As such, the Israel Defense Forces will continue to fight on the ground in Gaza, even though international support for their fight is seemingly waning.
These comments were made in the wake of the United Nations General Assembly voting to overwhelmingly support a ceasefire in the region.
Yet, Cohen said in a statement:
“Israel will continue the war against Hamas with or without international support. A ceasefire at the current stage is a gift to the terrorist organization Hamas, and will allow it to return and threaten the residents of Israel.”
He added that he believes the international community needs to act “effectively and aggressively” so that global shipping lanes are protected.
Egypt introduced the ceasefire vote in the UN General Assembly this week, demanding that all hostages from both sides be released and humanitarian aid be sent in. The proposal was supported overwhelmingly by a vote of 153-10.
The United States was one of the 10 nations that voted against the proposal, in addition to Israel, Papua New Guinea, Nauru, Micronesia, Liberia, Austria, Paraguay, the Czech Republic and Guatemala.
Egypt called the emergency meeting of the General Assembly so the resolution could be voted on. The country’s leaders say they have grave concerns over the “catastrophic humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip and the suffering of the Palestinian civilian population.”
Before the vote was taken, Dennis Francis, the president of the U.N. General Assembly, told those in attendance that there have been too many people already killed in the conflict in Gaza, which started following Hamas’ brutal and surprise attack on Israel on October 7.
He said that the situation in the region is dire, and that if there are additional delays in getting humanitarian aid to the region, thousands of more deaths could occur.
As he said:
“Clearly, what we are witnessing is the unprecedented collapse of an already crumbling humanitarian system in real time. No more time is left. The carnage must stop.”
He added that Palestinians who have been displayed by all the fighting don’t have a safe place where they can go.
Before the vote was taken, amendments to Egypt’s resolution were brought forth by Austria and the U.S. Each specifically wanted to condemn Hamas for the attacks.
Neither of those amendment proposals reached the requisite two-thirds majority for it to pass.
Seeing as the U.S. introduced one of those amendments, it’s possible they would have at least considered Egypt’s proposal – or abstained from the vote – had it condemned Hamas.