NL abstains from UN resolution on Gaza ceasefire, "Israel has the right to self-defense"
The Netherlands abstained from voting on a UN resolution calling for a humanitarian cease-fire between Israel and Hamas because it went too far, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs told ANP. The resolution contained passages that the Netherlands could not support. For example, it lacked Israel's right to self-defense against terrorism, the ministry says.
Outgoing prime minister Mark Rutte told RTL Nieuws that “Israel should be able to defend itself. There is no future for Israel otherwise."
The country's future is not secure in the short term unless Israel succeeds in deterring terrorists such as Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah. But also not “in the longer term if there is not ultimately an independent, safe Palestinian state in addition to a safe Israel," Rutte told the news broadcast.
The United Nations General Assembly late Friday night supported Jordan's resolution calling for the cease-fire by a large majority. It did so by 120 votes in favor, 14 against, and 45 abstentions, including the Netherlands.
The Netherlands issued an explanation of vote before the vote. This included a statement that the call for a cease-fire, which was included in the resolution, was not "consistent with Israel's right to address the ongoing threat from Hamas. That is why the Netherlands is calling for humanitarian pauses in order to allow humanitarian access and provide essential goods and services to civilians in Gaza," the ministry said.
Furthermore, the call for the immediate release of all hostages was not adequately reflected in the resolution in the eyes of the Netherlands. "In our explanation of vote, we emphasized that the Netherlands calls on all parties to exercise restraint. Further civilian casualties must be prevented and the cycle of violence broken."
Nederland had voor deze resolutie moeten stemmen.— Sjoerd Wiemer Sjoerdsma (@swsjoerdsma) October 28, 2023
Nu moet Bruins Slot niet meer tegen stribbelen en zorgen dat deze wordt uitgevoerd: een onmiddellijk staakt-het- vuren om mensenlevens te redden, hulp aan Gaza en de gegijzelden vrij.
Kamervragen ingediend. https://t.co/K9OJ26B4UB
D66 MP Sjoerd Sjoerdsma finds it "shameful" that the Netherlands has abstained from voting on a UN resolution. He wants clarification on this from outgoing minister Hanke Bruins Slot before Monday. The people in Gaza are "like rats in a trap", he told ANP. "There are now thousands of dead, tens of thousands of injured and hundreds of thousands of displaced people. The situation is threatening to become a total catastrophe." According to Sjoerdsma, an immediate ceasefire is very much needed.
The Dutch abstention drew criticism on Saturday, including from aid organization Save the Children. "The government is therefore making support for the most basic humane principles conditional on the political wishes of the Israeli government. The moral bankruptcy of this outgoing Cabinet is thus a fact," Save the Children said.
Reporting by ANP and NL Times