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Hungary votes against the UN resolution on Gaza

October 31st, 2023

Commentators highlight the sharp divisions within the European Union on the Middle East conflict.

The United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution on Friday urging a ceasefire in Gaza with 121 countries in favour, 14 (including Hungary) against, and 44 abstentions.

In Népszava, Tamás Rónay writes that the European Union is even more divided on the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians than on the issue of Kosovo.  Most member countries abstained but France and Spain (as well as Belgium, Slovenia, Ireland, Malta, and Portugal) voted in favour, while Hungary, the Czech Republic, Croatia, and Austria voted against, along with the United States. Rónay asks how such a divided European Union can show unity against Russia over its aggression in Ukraine.

On Index, Ferenc Kovács quotes diplomatic sources who argue that the resolution was not sufficiently balanced and failed to condemn Hamas for its unprecedented rampage and killing of masses of civilians in Israel on 7 October. Foreign Ministry spokesman Máté Paczolay told the news site that Hungary could not support a document that failed to clearly demand the release of civilians abducted by Hamas or acknowledge Israel’s right to defend herself. Hungary, he said, supported a Canadian amendment that proposed to ’unequivocally reject and condemn the terrorist attacks by Hamas … and the taking of hostages’. When that amendment failed to reach the required two-thirds majority, he added, Hungary decided to vote against the resolution.

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