The United States has criticised Israel’s bombing as “indiscriminate”. Australia, Canada and New Zealand issued a joint statement and called for a ceasefire.
New Delhi: Facing calls from many members of the United Nations for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza, Israel is now coming under pressure from its allies, including the United States, which has criticised its bombing in the small strip of land as “indiscriminate”.
India was among the countries that voted in favour of the United Nations General Assembly resolution, ‘Protection of civilians and upholding legal and humanitarian obligations’, demanding an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza. As many as 153 countries voted in favour of the resolution, while 10, including US, Israel and Austria, voted against it and 23, including Germany, Argentina and Ukraine abstained from voting.
On October 7, Hamas operatives launched a massive, multi-pronged attack on Israel on October 7, which has been described as the bloodiest in the country’s history. Around 1,200 people, mostly civilians, were killed and around 240 people, most of whom were Israelis, were taken hostage. After the attack, the Israeli government launched a withering offensive on Gaza, vowing to destroy Hamas and bring the hostages home.
Several hostages had been freed as part of a truce between Israel and Hamas last month.
According to the Hamas-run health ministry, the war has killed more than 18,400 people, mostly women and children. On Wednesday, the ministry said that at least another 50 people were killed in the latest wave of Israeli air strikes across Gaza, according to news agency AFP.
‘Starting To Lose Support’
In his most blunt remarks since the October 7 attack, US President Biden told a campaign event in Washington that Israel had “most of the world supporting it” after the Hamas attack. “But they’re starting to lose that support by the indiscriminate bombing that takes place,” he said, according to the AFP report.
Speaking at a news conference later, Mr Biden toned down his comments and reiterated his country’s support for Israel, but said that “the safety of innocent Palestinians is still of great concern”.
Mr Biden’s remarks came in the wake of Washington’s repeated calls to Israel to take more care to avoid civilian casualties in Gaza, saying too many Palestinians have been killed.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also said there was “disagreement” with Biden over how a post-conflict Gaza would be governed, reflecting a rare rift between the allies.
Other Israeli allies, Australia, Canada and New Zealand issued a joint statement and called for a ceasefire, saying that civilians and civilian infrastructure must be protected and that Israel must respect International humanitarian law.
“We recognise Israel’s right to exist and right to defend itself. In defending itself, Israel must respect international humanitarian law. Civilians and civilian infrastructure must be protected. We are alarmed at the diminishing safe space for civilians in Gaza. The price of defeating Hamas cannot be the continuous suffering of all Palestinian civilians,” Prime Ministers Anthony Albanese, Justin Trudeau and Christopher Luxon said in a joint statement.
“We remain deeply concerned by the scale of the humanitarian crisis in Gaza and ongoing risks to all Palestinian civilians. Safe and unimpeded humanitarian access must be increased and sustained,” the joint statement said.
Their statement came after the UN General Assembly’s resolution, with the number of countries that voted for it exceeding the 140 or so that have routinely backed resolutions condemning Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.