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Australia votes for humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza

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153 countries have voted for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza, as the death toll mounts from the conflict.
Humanitarian ceasefire Gaza

At an emergency meeting, the United Nations (UN) passed a resolution demanding an “immediate humanitarian ceasefire” in Gaza. The resolution is not legally binding.

Australia was among 153 member states that voted in favour of the resolution. This comes after it abstained from a vote on the same issue in October.

The U.S. and Israel led a group of 10 countries that voted against the motion.

The resolution

The resolution calls for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza. That would see a long-term end in fighting between Hamas and Israel.

As part of the ceasefire, it demands an unconditional release of all hostages being held by Hamas.

The resolution also expressed “grave concern over the catastrophic humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip and the suffering of the Palestinian civilian population”.

Non-binding

This resolution is not legally binding, meaning there is no obligation for Hamas and Israel to adopt a ceasefire.

However, the UN says it carries “immense moral weight, representing the collective resolve of the UN membership on a matter of grave importance”.

Other countries

The U.S ambassador to the UN said the U.S. agrees “that the humanitarian situation is dire” but voted against the resolution because it did not condemn Hamas.

Egypt was one of the countries that voted in favour of the resolution, with its ambassador to the UN saying a resolution is “long overdue” and a “ceasefire is the only guarantee for saving innocent civilians”.

The UK was among 23 countries that abstained (didn’t vote at all).

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