France takes different line from UK, US on UNSC’s Gaza resolution

New Delhi: France did not toe the US line on the Gaza conflict in the Security Council, and voted for  a resolution  calling  for a ceasefire in the conflict-torn region , where Israeli forces continued their  offensive to destroy Hamas which had launched a deadly attack on October 7.

The resolution was vetoed by the US.

The conflict has has left 17,487 people dead in the Palestinian territory, mostly women and children, according to the latest count from the Hamas-run health ministry. The Hamas attck  had killed around 1200 people. The militants had taken hostages, 138 of whom remain captive, according to Israeli figures.

Since then the retaliatory attack by Israel has devastated Gaza, as even hospitals were not spared by Israeli forces. An unprecedented humanitarian crisis has developed in the region . It was in view of this situation that the UN Secretray General
Antonio Guterres invoked the rarely-used Article 99 of the UN Charter to convene an emergency Security Council meeting calling for an immediate ceasefire.

The US vetoed the resolution put forward by the United Arab Emirates and backed by over 90 Member States. There were 13 votes in favour and the United Kingdom abstained.

The UN chief wared that “the conditions for the effective delivery of humanitarian aid no longer exist.”
He said “the eyes of the world – and the eyes of history – are watching”, and urged the international community to “do everything possible” to end the ordeal of the people of Gaza.

The resolution expressed grave concern over the “catastrophic situation” in Gaza, and emphasized that both Palestinian and Israeli civilians must be protected.
It demanded an immediate humanitarian ceasefire, and the immediate and unconditional release of hostages as well as humanitarian access.
It did not condemn the terror attacks perpetrated by Hamas on 7 October.

The UK abstained in voting on the resolution, Its Ambassador Barbara Woodward said her country could not vote in favour of a resolution that fails to condemn the atrocities Hamas committed on innocent Israeli civilians .
“Calling for a ceasefire ignores the fact that Hamas has committed acts of terror and is still holding civilians hostage,” she said,

However, France took a stand different from its NATO allies, and voted in favour of the resolution, saying there was no contr
‘No contradiction’ in fighting terror and protecting civilians.
France’s Permanent Representative Nicolas de Rivière shared the alram raised by the said the UN chief over the situation in Gaza unfolding in Gaza.

“It is for this reason that France voted in favour of this resolution and it is for that reason that we plead for an immediate and lasting humanitarian truce”, he added.

“For our part, we do not see any contradiction in the fight against terrorism and the protection of civilians, in strict respect of international humanitarian law,” he said, adding “we would have wished for this Council to finally have been able to condemn the Hamas attacks and those of other terrorist groups on 7 October.”

“Unfortunately, nearly all of our recommendations were ignored” leading to an “imbalanced resolution that was divorced from reality that would not move the needle forward on the ground in any concrete way. And so, we regretfully could not support it,”Deputy Permanent Representative Robert A. Wood said while opposing the resolution,

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