After multiple unsuccessful attempts, the UN Security Council members finally reached a consensus. They officially adopted a resolution on November 15, nearly 40 days after the initiation of the Israeli war on October 7. The resolution called for “urgent and extended” humanitarian “pauses” in Gaza.
Despite the adoption of the resolution, Israel, as anticipated, refused to implement it. Instead, the country engaged in negotiations with the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas, mediated by Qatar, resulting in an agreement to cease its offensives in Gaza for four days in exchange for hostages.
Israel’s rejection of the UN resolution aligns with its historical pattern of consistently disregarding international laws and undermining the authority of global multilateral institutions.
Throughout the ongoing war on Gaza since October 7, more than 14,100 Palestinians have lost their lives, with over 30,000 sustaining injuries. Notably, the majority of casualties—over 70%—comprise children, women, and the elderly.
The indiscriminate bombing of the besieged Palestinian territory has led to the near-total destruction of civilian infrastructure, including hospitals and water supply facilities, forcing over 70% of the population to flee their homes.
Before the Security Council adopted a limited resolution, on October 27, the UN General Assembly passed a resolution urging an immediate humanitarian ceasefire. Despite receiving support from over 120 countries, Israel responded with arrogance, dismissing the legitimacy of the global body. Israeli representative Gilad Erdan labeled the day of the resolution’s adoption as a “dark day” in history and openly vowed to persist with bombing operations in Gaza, defying the resolution’s call for a halt.
UN resolutions on the Israeli occupation
Since November 29, 1947, when the UN adopted its contentious partition resolution advocating for the establishment of the state of Israel, various UN bodies have passed numerous resolutions addressing the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination and other rights.
Following the Nakba in 1948, during which more than 750,000 Palestinians were forcibly displaced, the UN General Assembly, in December 1948, passed Resolution 194 (III), recognizing the right of all Palestinian refugees to return. Count Folke Bernadotte, the UN-appointed mediator and a key figure behind this resolution was assassinated by the Zionist militia just before its adoption. The newly formed Israeli state released all major suspects in his assassination.
On November 22, 1967, the UN Security Council adopted pivotal Resolution 242, urging Israel to withdraw its forces from territories occupied during the June war. Presently, Israel still occupies Palestinian territories—namely, the West Bank, East Jerusalem, Gaza, and the Syrian Golan.
In 1980 and 1981, Israel illegally annexed occupied East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, respectively, while constructing illegal settlements and permanent structures in these territories.
After a war with Arab states in 1973, the UN Security Council, on October 22, adopted Resolution 338, calling for an immediate ceasefire and reiterating Resolution 242’s demand for complete Israeli withdrawal from all occupied territories. In 1974, the UN General Assembly passed Resolution 3236 (XXIX), reaffirming the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people to self-determination, national independence, sovereignty, and the right of return.
Amidst the 1994 Madrid peace conference, the General Assembly, through Resolution 49/132, declared all Israeli settlements inside the occupied Palestinian territories illegal, constituting an obstacle to the social and economic development of Palestinians. Despite signing a peace accord with the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) in Oslo, endorsing a “two-state solution,” Israel continued expanding illegal settlements.
Israel ignored the 2003 General Assembly Resolution 10/13, which deemed its construction of a separation wall (referred to as the apartheid wall) in the occupied West Bank as illegal and a violation of international law.
Since the imposition of the Gaza blockade in 2006, the General Assembly has addressed the issue in multiple resolutions, emphasizing the Palestinians’ basic needs and highlighting the adverse effects of the blockade on the people in Gaza.
Israeli violation of UN resolutions has been the norm
Since its establishment in May 1948, Israel has consistently disregarded all UN resolutions about Palestine and the occupied territories, whether emanating from the General Assembly or the Security Council.
While expressive, resolutions from the General Assembly lack enforceability, whereas those from the Security Council carry legal obligations. Failure to adhere to Security Council resolutions can result in repercussions such as sanctions or armed interventions.
Despite numerous resolutions recognizing the Palestinian right to self-determination and addressing the humanitarian situation in the occupied territories, they have been systematically ignored. Even though many of these resolutions label Israel as an occupying power and criticize it for violating Palestinian rights, Israel has thus far evaded penalties.
The UN, regrettably, has not taken adequate measures to ensure the implementation of its resolutions by Israel. The lack of action can be attributed to veto-holding countries like the US, France, and the UK, which support Israel, granting it impunity to commit serious violations of international laws without facing the consequences.