Israel presses on after UN vote calling for Palestinian membership

By Jan Yumul (China Daily) 08:43, May 13, 2024

In an act seen by many as symbolizing Israel's continued disregard for United Nations resolutions and calls for a cease-fire in Gaza, Gilad Erdan, Israel's ambassador to the UN, shredded a small copy of the UN Charter on Friday during a live broadcast of a special session of the UN General Assembly.

To the Palestinians who are suffering, "this clownish behavior of the Israeli envoy at the UN is a promising sign that Israel is more isolated than ever in the eyes of the international community", Muslim Imran, director of the Malaysia-based Asia Middle East Center for Research and Dialogue, told China Daily.

Erdan's action came just before the General Assembly voted overwhelmingly for a resolution asking the UN Security Council to make Palestine a full UN member. He also strongly criticized his peers for supporting the resolution.

The resolution was passed at the 10th Emergency Special Session of the General Assembly, with 143 votes in favor and nine against, including the United States and Israel, and 25 countries abstaining.

Israel ordered new evacuations in Gaza's southern city of Rafah on Saturday, forcing tens of thousands more to leave, as it prepared to expand military operations deeper into the last haven for more than 1 million refugees.

Imran said that, as Israel itself was created and recognized by the UN, Israel publicly going against the UN only meant that the feeling of isolation was growing in Tel Aviv, and that Israel was breaking off whatever relations it had with the international community by its seizure of Gaza.

China, which voted in favor of the resolution, expressed its support on Friday for the Security Council to reconsider Palestine's application to join the UN.

Fu Cong, China's permanent representative to the UN, emphasized the need for Palestine to be granted full UN membership, Xinhua News Agency reported.

Fu stressed that "independent statehood has been a long-cherished aspiration of the Palestinian people", and full UN membership is a crucial step in this historic process.

Gulf Cooperation Council Secretary-General Jassim Mohammed Al-Budaiwi welcomed the outcome of the UN vote, according to Emirates News Agency. He stressed the GCC's firm support for the Palestinian cause as well as for reaching a solution based on "ending the Israeli occupation and establishing an independent Palestinian state on the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital, in accordance with relevant UN resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative".

Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul-Gheit was quoted by Xinhua as saying on Saturday that the resolution "clearly indicates the compass of global will and direction of international public opinion on Palestine".

Meanwhile, Israel Defense Forces spokesman Daniel Hagari said in a video released on social media platform X on Sunday that the IDF was continuing its operations against Hamas in Rafah as part of Israel's efforts to "achieve an enduring defeat of Hamas" and "bring our hostages home".

Palestinian news agency WAFA reported that a number of civilians, mostly children, had been killed and others were injured early on Sunday as Israeli warplanes targeted various areas across Gaza.

The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East said that around 300,000 people have now fled Rafah "as the forced and inhumane displacement of Palestinians continues".

(Web editor: Tian Yi, Liang Jun)


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