UN General Assembly holds emergency meeting on Gaza amidst Security Council deadlock

The United Nations General Assembly reconvened its 10th emergency special session on Thursday to address the ongoing Israeli-Hamas conflict, as the Security Council remains deadlocked on the matter.

With more than 100 representatives slated to deliver speeches during the two-day emergency gathering of the 193-member body, General Assembly President Dennis Francis used his opening statement to condemn all attacks targeting civilians. He implored member states not to exacerbate the already volatile situation with hate speech, and called for an immediate and unconditional humanitarian ceasefire, along with the establishment of aid corridors to preserve lives.

“At this juncture, the most immediate imperative is clear. The violence must cease, and further loss of life must be averted,” Francis stressed.

Riyad Mansour, the Permanent Observer of Palestine to the UN, characterized the situation in Gaza as not a war, but an indiscriminate assault on the entire Palestinian populace. He lamented the long-standing neglect of Palestinian rights.

“Why is there so much empathy for Israelis and so little for us, the Palestinians? What is the issue? Is it our faith, our skin color, our nationality, our origins?” he challenged.

Gilad Erdan, Israel’s permanent representative, asserted that his country’s actions aim to eliminate Hamas and ensure the security of the Israeli people.

“Our objective is the complete eradication of Hamas’ capabilities, and we will employ all available means to achieve this,” he stated.

Jordan and several other nations have tabled a draft resolution addressing the crisis, as the Security Council has faced repeated failures to reach a consensus in the past two weeks.

On behalf of the Arab Group, Ayman Safadi, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Jordan, explained that the proposed text seeks to uphold the United Nations’ fundamental mission: peace and adherence to international law.

He called on UN member states to unite in their commitment to peace, justice, and the right of every Palestinian and Israeli child to live free from the specter of war and fear.

The resumed emergency special session is scheduled to continue into Friday, with the Chinese speaker slated to address the assembly. It is expected that the draft resolution backed by Jordan will be put to a vote.