ঢাকাবৃহস্পতিবার, ১৩ই জুন, ২০২৪ খ্রিস্টাব্দ

Biden warns Israel is losing support.

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ডিসেম্বর ১৩, ২০২৩ ১১:২০ পূর্বাহ্ণ
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The United Nations on Tuesday demanded an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in the Gaza Strip as US President Joe Biden warned Israel it was losing international support because of its “indiscriminate” bombing of civilians in its war against Hamas fighters.

After dire warnings by UN officials about a deepening humanitarian crisis in Gaza, the 193-member UN General Assembly passed a resolution calling for a ceasefire, with 153 countries voting in favour and 23 abstaining. The US. and Israel, which argue a ceasefire only benefits Hamas, voted against the measure along with eight other countries.

The resolution is not binding but carries political weight, reflecting a global view of the war. The United States vetoed a similar call in the 15-member Security Council last week.

The Palestinian Authority welcomed the resolution and urged countries to pressure Israel to adopt the ceasefire. A Hamas official in exile, Izzat El-Reshiq, echoed that reaction in a statement on Telegram, saying Israel should “stop its aggression, genocide, and ethnic cleansing against our people.”

Before the resolution passed, Biden said Israel now has support from “most of the world,” including the US. and the European Union. “But they’re starting to lose that support with the indiscriminate bombing that takes place,” he told a campaign donor event in Washington.

Israel’s assault on Gaza to root out Hamas has killed at least 18,205 Palestinians and wounded nearly 50,000 since Oct. 7, according to the Gaza health ministry.

Israel launched its onslaught after a cross-border raid by Hamas fighters, who killed 1,200 people and took 240 hostages in southern Israel on Oct. 7. Israel on Tuesday declared 19 of the 134 people still in captivity in Gaza dead in absentia after the bodies of two hostages were recovered.

In Khan Younis, southern Gaza’s main city, residents said on Tuesday that Israeli tank shelling was now focused on the city centre. One said tanks were operating in the street where the house of Yahya Al-Sinwar, Hamas’ leader in Gaza, is located.

After nightfall, Israeli air strikes on Khan Younis in southern Gaza Strip killed 11 Palestinians, including two children, health officials said.

An older Palestinian, Tawfik Abu Breika, earlier said his residential block in Khan Younis was hit without warning by an Israeli air strike that brought down several buildings and caused casualties.

“The world’s conscience is dead, no humanity or any kind of morals,” Breika told Reuters as neighbours sifted through rubble. “This is the third month that we are facing death and destruction.”

Further south in Rafah, which borders Egypt, health officials said an Israeli air strike on houses overnight killed 22 people, including children. Civil emergency workers were searching for more victims under the rubble.

Residents said the shelling of Rafah, where the Israeli army this month ordered people to head for their safety, was some of the heaviest in days.

“At night we can’t sleep because of the bombing, and in the morning, we tour the streets looking for food for the children. There is no food,” said Abu Khalil, 40, a father of six.

The UN World Food Programme says half of Gaza’s population is starving. “There’s no electricity, no fuel, no water, no medicine,” resident Mohammed Obaid said as he inspected debris in Rafah.

The Gaza health ministry said that diseases and illnesses including diarrhea, food poisoning, meningitis, respiratory infections, chickenpox and scabies were spreading.