UN General Assembly to meet over Israel-Gaza war on Thursday
The UN General Assembly will meet on Thursday to discuss the conflict between Israel and Hamas, its president announced Monday in a letter to member states.
The Security Council has so far failed to agree on a resolution concerning the war, but a number of states, including Jordan on behalf of the Arab grouping, Russia, Syria, Bangladesh, Vietnam and Cambodia, formally requested General Assembly President Dennis Francis to schedule the meeting.
Last week, the UN Security Council, regularly divided on the Israeli-Palestinian issue, initially rejected a Russian draft resolution calling for a "humanitarian pause."
Only five of the 15 member states had supported this text, which condemned all violence against civilians and all terrorist acts, but did not name Hamas, which was unacceptable to the United States, the United Kingdom and France.
Washington then vetoed a second resolution as the text did not recognize what it termed "Israel's right to defend itself".
Israeli strikes in Gaza have so far killed over 5,000 Palestinians, including 2,000 children, while Hamas's attack on Israel on October 7 killed around 1,400 Israelis, mostly civilians.
Twelve out of 15 Council members voted in favour of the resolution put forward by Brazil, which also condemned the "heinous terrorist attacks by Hamas," while Russia and the United Kingdom abstained.
The United States was the only vote against, but as one of the body's five permanent members its vote counts as a veto.
Prior to the General Assembly gathering on Thursday at 10:00 am (1400 GMT), the Security Council will meet to discuss the issue. This long-planned meeting is expected to be attended by some of the world's foreign ministers.