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MSF: US isolated from international community in vote against ceasefire

UN General Assembly voted overwhelmingly to demand a humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza, the US voted against

MSF-USA staff hold signs calling for a ceasefire in Gaza at a vigil at the United Nations in New York

United States 2023 © Sara Kerens/The Associated Press

Today, December 12, the United Nations General Assembly voted overwhelmingly to demand a humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza. At the special emergency session, 153 nations voted for the ceasefire resolution and only 10 voted against it—including Israel and the United States; 23 nations abstained.

The emergency meeting and vote was held after Egypt and Mauritania invoked Resolution 377, which allows the General Assembly to take action immediately if there is a lack of unanimity on the UN Security Council (UNSC) on matters that maintain international peace and security. The invocation of Resolution 377 followed a veto on Friday by the United States that blocked a UNSC resolution calling for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza. 

Avril Benoît, executive director of Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) USA gave the following statement:

"Today the majority of the world stood together to demand an end to this bloodshed and suffering in Gaza. The United States has once again voted to allow the carnage against civilians in Gaza to continue. Today the US failed to show compassion or leadership in the face of continued bombardment of human beings who are trapped in Gaza without food, water, shelter, or access to proper medical care. 

The US is increasingly isolated in its steadfast support of a war that seems to have no rules and no limits, a war that Israel claims is focused on rooting out Hamas but that continues to kill large numbers of Palestinian civilians, mostly women and children.  
Israel has continued to indiscriminately attack civilians and civilian structures, impose a siege that amounts to collective punishment for the entire population of Gaza, force mass displacement, and deny access to vital medical care and humanitarian assistance. The US continues to provide political and financial support to Israel as it prosecutes its military operations regardless of the terrible toll on civilians. It is impossible to deliver humanitarian aid at scale in Gaza under current circumstances. 

For humanitarians to be able to respond to the overwhelming needs, we need a ceasefire now."

How MSF is responding to the war in Gaza