The United Nations Security Council on Friday voted to approve a United Arab Emirates-sponsored resolution demanding a humanitarian pause in the Israel-Hamas war.
A vote on the resolution was previously scheduled for 5 p.m. Monday, but was delayed to try to avoid another veto by the U.S.
The resolution passed Friday, in which 13 nations voted in favor with the U.S. and Russia abstaining, “calls for urgent steps to immediately allow safe, unhindered, and expanded humanitarian access and to create the conditions for a sustainable cessation of hostilities.”
It “demands that all parties comply with their obligations under international law, notably with regard to the protection of civilians, calls for urgent and extended humanitarian pauses and corridors throughout the Gaza Strip for a sufficient number of days to enable full, rapid, safe, and unhindered humanitarian access and to enable urgent rescue and recovery efforts, and calls for the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages, as well as ensuring immediate humanitarian access,” the resolution adds.
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The resolution also expresses “grave concerns as to the impact the resumption of hostilities has had on civilians.”
“Today, this council made clear that all hostages must be released immediately and unconditionally and that humanitarian groups must be able to access hostages, including for medical visits,” U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield said following the vote.
“Today, this council made clear that civilian and humanitarian facilities, including hospitals, medical facilities, schools, places of worship and U.N. facilities, as well as humanitarian personnel and medical personnel, must be protected,” she added. “This applies to all parties to this conflict, to Israel, but also to Hamas, a terror group that instigated this conflict and that wages war from inside homes and hospitals and U.N. sites and uses innocent civilians as human shields, an act of cowardice and cruelty.”
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Anne Bayefsky, the director of the Touro Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust, told Fox News Digital following the vote, “The Biden administration refused to veto — meaning it allowed — the adoption of a UN Security Council resolution that failed to condemn Hamas for October 7th, failed to condemn Hamas for terror tunnels, failed to condemn Hamas for continuing rocket attacks, failed to name Hamas as the hostage-takers, failed to acknowledge Israel’s legal right of self-defense, failed to condemn Palestinian terrorists for using rape and horrific sexual violence as a weapon of war, and repeatedly draws obscene moral comparisons between Israel and Hamas.”
“The days of intense U.N. negotiations need to be contrasted with a different reality: the people of Israel are currently being attacked on at least three fronts — Gaza, Lebanon, and Palestinian Authority-controlled territories,” she added, “And yet, according to the U.N. Security Council, the only ‘humanitarian situation’ is in the Gaza Strip.”
The U.S. previously vetoed a Security Council cease-fire resolution that was widely supported by all council members and dozens of other member nations. Robert Wood, the U.S. deputy ambassador to the U.N., maintained the U.S. wanted to see peace between Israelis and Palestinians but was critical of how the resolution would go about it.
“It would simply leave Hamas in place, able to regroup and repeat what it did on Oct. 7. Colleagues, a senior Hamas official recently stated the group intends to repeat the vile acts of Oct. 7, quote, again and again and again, unquote. And yet this resolution essentially says Israel should just tolerate this, that it should allow this terror to go unchecked,” Wood said earlier this month.
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“Although the United States strongly supports a durable peace in which both Israelis and Palestinians can live in peace and security, we do not support this resolution’s call for an unsustainable cease-fire that will only plant the seeds for the next war,” he added.
Fox News’ Greg Norman, Ben Evansky and Elizabeth Elkind and The Associated Press contributed to this report.