Israel responds after UN overwhelmingly votes for humanitarian cease-fire: ‘A gift to Hamas’

Israel will continue its war on Hamas in Gaza, whether it has international support or not, according to Israel’s foreign minister.

Foreign Minister Eli Cohen said Wednesday that agreeing to another cease-fire would be a “gift” to Hamas and that Israel’s military would continue its ground offensive in Gaza despite waning international support. The comment comes after the United Nations General Assembly overwhelmingly voted to support a cease-fire.

“Israel will continue the war against Hamas with or without international support,” Cohen said, Reuters reported. “A cease-fire at the current stage is a gift to the terrorist organization Hamas, and will allow it to return and threaten the residents of Israel.”

In his statement, Cohen also called on the international community to act “effectively and aggressively” to protect global shipping lanes.

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On Tuesday, the United Nations General Assembly voted 153 to 10 in favor of a resolution introduced by Egypt demanding an immediate humanitarian cease-fire between Hamas and Israel, and for the release of all hostages.

The United States voted against its passage, as did Israel, Guatemala, the Czech Republic, Paraguay, Austria, Liberia, Micronesia, Nauru and Papua New Guinea. The resolution was ultimately adopted with 23 abstentions. 

An emergency meeting was called to vote on the resolution from Egypt out of grave concern over the “catastrophic humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip and the suffering of the Palestinian civilian population.”

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Ahead of the vote, U.N. General Assembly President H.E. Mr. Dennis Francis opened the emergency session, telling the room full of representatives that tens of thousands of people have died since the war in Gaza between Hamas and Israel began on Oct. 7.

Francis emphasized the situation was dire and any more delays in humanitarian care could result in additional deaths.

“Clearly, what we are witnessing is the unprecedented collapse of an already crumbling humanitarian system in real time,” Francis said Tuesday. “No more time is left. The carnage must stop.”

He also said Palestinians displaced by violence have nowhere safe to go.

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Ahead of the vote, the U.N. shot down two amendments to the resolution – one from Austria and another from the U.S. – that specifically condemned Hamas.

Both required a two-thirds majority vote to pass and neither reached that mark.

Fox News’ Greg Wehner and Reuters contributed to this report.

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