In an emergency session on Tuesday, the United Nations General Assembly voted in favour of a non-binding resolution in order to urge a humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza. The Gaza ceasefire resolution received support from 153 countries, while 10 voted against it, and 23 either abstained or were absent during the vote.

The United States and Israel were among the 10 votes against it.

The rift between Israel and the United States and their increasing isolation on the global stage became evident during the General Assembly session. The two allies publicly disagreed over the conduct and future of the ongoing conflict.

US President Joe Biden expressed his concerns directly to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, citing the impact of Israel’s “indiscriminate bombing” on global opinion.

Jake Sullivan, the White House national security adviser, is set to travel to Israel to engage in discussions about the war’s timetable and potential outcomes, especially in the event of a defeat of Hamas. Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin is scheduled to visit Israel next week, aiming to express US support while emphasising the importance of avoiding civilian casualties in Gaza.

The conflict takes a new turn with reports suggesting Israel’s unique tactic of flooding tunnels claimed to be used by Hamas with seawater. Meanwhile, a complex Hamas ambush in Shejaiya resulted in the loss of two senior Israeli commanders and seven soldiers.

The ambush unfolded against the backdrop of heavy winter rains and cool weather.

At least 18,412 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli attacks since 7 October. Approximately 8,000 people are missing or trapped under the rubble in Gaza. Thousands have been displaced, left homeless, without food, and lacking winter clothing amid harsh weather conditions.

The Gaza Health Ministry faces a shortage of children’s vaccinations, and disease outbreaks in crowded shelters add to the humanitarian crisis. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reported 360,000 cases of diseases in crowded shelters for the 1.9 million people displaced by Israel’s military onslaught.