Cyprus joined 152 other countries on Tuesday night in voting in favour of a United Nations General Assembly resolution which called for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza, as well as the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages.

Just 10 countries, including Israel itself, the United States, and Liberia, voted against the resolution, while there were 23 abstentions, including those of the United Kingdom, Ukraine, and Germany.

Speaking after casting Cyprus’ vote, the country’s permanent representative to the UN Maria Michail spoke of the “alarming humanitarian situation in Gaza”.

She added that “Palestinian and Israeli civilians must be protected in accordance with international humanitarian law.”

Additionally, she said the aim must now be “reviving the Middle East peace process on the basis of a two-state solution in accordance with the relevant UN resolutions.”

Meanwhile, Palestinian representative to the UN Riyad Mansour described the vote as “an expression of public sentiment which the US cannot afford to ignore.”

He added, “it is our collective duty to continue on this path until we see an end to this aggression against our people, to see this war stopping against our people. It is our duty to save lives.”

Israeli representative to the UN, Gilad Erdan described the vote as a vote for “the survival of Jihadist terror”, and made reference to “Hamas Nazis”.

Reacting to the vote on Wednesday, Akel said it “echoes humanity’s anxiety over the continuing bloodshed of the Palestinian people by the Israeli state.”

They added that Israel’s actions are “equivalent to genocide”.

“Millions of people around the world who are protesting on the streets for a ceasefire, the ending of the occupation, and freedom in Palestine, are the real force which escalates the international isolation of the far-right Netanyahu government,” they said.

They added, “on the other hand, the stance of states such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, and a series of far-right governments, as well as the previous US veto on the Security Council, is in cahoots with Israeli barbarism in Gaza.”

In addition, they raised questions regarding the use of British Sovereign Base Areas (SBAs) in Cyprus “for the transfer of war material to the Israeli army”.

The vote marks a possible chance in Cyprus’ stance towards the ongoing crisis in Gaza, with the country having abstained from a UN General Assembly vote on a resolution calling for a “sustained humanitarian truce in the Middle East” in October.

At the time, foreign ministry spokesman Theodoris Gkotsis had told the Cyprus Mail that the government “wanted to show balance”.

“There were some countries, many from the Arab world, which were on one side of the argument, and others, such as the United States, which were on the other. We wanted to maintain our balanced stance,” he said.