OIC, UN Beg for Ceasefire, U.S. Sends More Weapons

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Robert A. Wood, representative of the United States to the UN, vetoed the ceasefire. UN Photo/Evan Schneider
Robert A. Wood, representative of the United States to the UN, vetoed the ceasefire. UN Photo/Evan Schneider

December 12: UN General Assembly adopts resolution demanding a humanitarian ceasefire, going around the Security Council to avoid a veto. The resolution, however, is non-binding.

Upon meeting with high officials from the Organization of Islamic Cooperation on December 8, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken approved the sale of tank ammunition to Israel, going around the U.S. Senate decline of $14 billion dollars in aid to the occupier on December 6. This follows the U.S. veto on the same date of a ceasefire proposed by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres in which 13 members voted for the resolution, with the UK abstaining and only the United States voting against. 

The value of the weapons sold to Israel amount to roughly $100 million. Since its founding in 1948, the United States has provided Israel with over $130 billion in bilateral assistance for security.

John Kirby, National Security Council (NSC) Coordinator for Strategic Communications Military said in a press conference on December 6 that “assistance from the United States continues to arrive in Israel on a fairly regular basis, and it includes the sorts of weapons that the Israeli Defense Forces need most to continue to go after particularly the leadership of Hamas.”

Israel’s pursuit of Hamas includes civilians. The UN agency ReliefWeb notes, “Between the afternoons of 9 and 10 December, 297 Palestinians were killed, according to the Ministry of Health (MoH) in Gaza. Heavy Israeli bombardments from air, land, and sea across Gaza.”  

About displacements from the bombing of buildings and the migration to the south of Gaza, the UN also says “As of 10 December… almost 1.9 million people in Gaza, or nearly 85 per cent of the population, were estimated to be internally displaced.”  There are 18,000 casualties amongst Palestinians and almost 50,000 injuries, continues the Relief Web report. 

Neither UN clamoring nor the soft diplomacy of OIC is working to persuade Israel to consider human rights in the occupied territory.

The Qatar Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, reiterated to Blinken on the sidelines of the OIC meeting “the importance of preventing the conflict from spreading.” The U.S. Secretary of State also spoke with Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, similarly.

Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan, as a delegate of the OIC, additionally emphasized “the provision of humanitarian aid.” Blinken, in turn, reminded him of “the importance of ratifying Sweden’s NATO accession without delay.” 

It isn’t clear whether any of these officials spoke to Blinken about a ceasefire during their meeting. 

Meanwhile, Israel has an aggressive ground operation going on in Gaza, as well. UN official Lynn Hastings noted on December 10, “We are now seeing reports of men and boys, from the age of 15 and older, rounded up in Gaza, stripped to their undergarments, blindfold, and taken somewhere unknown.”

Kirby said during the press conference, “We and our partners in the region are also …throwing assistance into Gaza, including food, water, medicine, and fuel”, in addition to weapons.

-IP Correspondent