New York, The Gulf Observer: UN General Assembly held an emergency special session on the Israel-Palestine crisis on Thursday, a day after a similar emergency session in the Security Council ended in a deadlock.
On Wednesday, Russia and China vetoed a US-backed resolution while a second Russia resolution failed to get the required votes. The stalemate continued even as conditions in the besieged enclave of Gaza grow direr by the hour.
On behalf of the Arab Group, Jordan’s Deputy Prime Minister Ayman Safadi addressed the General Assembly, urging the United Nations to follow its charter which requires the world body to protect lives and strive for peace.
“We must stand for peace, our human values and the UN Charter,” he said. “History will judge us. Say no to war. Say no to the killing. Call out war crimes.”
He pointed out that the Israeli government had cabinet members who call for “wiping out Palestinians from the face of this Earth”. “Israel is making Gaza a hell on Earth,” he said. “The trauma will haunt generations to come.”
Mr Safadi said Jordan, on behalf of the Arab Group, will table a draft resolution aimed at unlocking the stalemate. “Vote for it; make a stand,” he said. “Let’s cry out against more bloodletting.”
Sidi Mohamed Laghdaf, Ambassador of Mauritania to the UN, spoke on behalf of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), warning the world body that the absence of any moral, legal, or political consensus has only emboldened the occupying power to carry on with impunity its illegal policy of colonial settlement and annexation.
He pointed to Israel’s years-long blockade, forced displacement of Palestinian civilians, systematic ethnic cleansing, organised acts of terrorism, and desecration of holy places, including Al Aqsa Mosque.
Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iran, told the General Assembly that Hamas is ready to release civilian hostages, but the international community should also support the release of 6,000 Palestinians held in Israeli prisons.
He called on the US to work for peace and security and stop supporting “genocide in Gaza and Palestine”.