Amid rising tension in the Gaza Strip, a robust majority of 120 nations rallied behind a United Nations resolution on Friday, advocating for a “sustained humanitarian truce”. The plea comes as Israel intensifies its military campaign, announcing an "expansion of ground operations" in the densely populated enclave.
The Human Cost and Communications Blackout
As the sound of airstrikes reverberated across Gaza, its consequences were felt beyond the immediate destruction. The Palestinian telecom firm, Jawwal, reported a crippling cut to its network, severing the territory's communication links with the outside world.
An on-the-ground source from Gaza’s Al Aqsa Martyrs hospital painted a bleak picture, describing the situation as akin to being “left in the dark with no connection to the outside world”. The escalation follows a deadly episode on October 7 when a terror attack by Hamas resulted in the tragic death of more than 1,400 individuals, with around 200 taken as hostages in Gaza.
In retaliation, Israel has since mounted relentless aerial raids, combined with a fuel blockade. This has raised significant concerns about the plight of the nearly 2 million residents confined within Gaza's borders.
Israel's Defiant Stance
Despite the UN's unanimous appeal for calm, Israel remains unyielding.
Their decision to rebuff the call for a ceasefire was vocally supported by the country's foreign minister. Eli Cohen took to X, the social media platform once known as Twitter, to voice his disdain, likening Israel’s intent to eliminate Hamas to global efforts against historical foes: “Israel intends to eliminate Hamas just as the world dealt with the Nazis and ISIS”.
The UN's entreaty, which sought an immediate halt to hostilities between Israel and Hamas, found favor with 120 nations. However, 14 countries, including powerhouses like the US and Israel itself, opposed the resolution. An additional 45 nations chose to remain neutral, abstaining from the vote.
In a charged response to the resolution's approval, Israeli Ambassador to the UN, Gilad Erdan, expressed his deep discontent, lamenting, “Today is a day that will go down in infamy. We have all witnessed that the UN no longer holds even one ounce of legitimacy or relevance”.
Erdan further criticized the international community's stance, accusing them of favoring "Nazi terrorists" over Israel's right to defend its citizenry. In these tumultuous times, the world watches closely, hoping for a swift and peaceful resolution to a conflict that has endured for far too long.