United Nations condemns excessive Israeli force against Palestinians
14 June, 2018, 13:59 | Author: Wade Massey
The Palestinians sought a Security Council resolution after Israel's military killed civilians during mass protests in Gaza aimed at the border blockade imposed by Israel and Egypt in 2007 after Hamas overran the territory. Israeli troops have killed more than 100 Palestinians - Hamas has acknowledged that many of them are members - in two months of protests.
More than 10,000 others have been wounded by excessive Israeli force, including live ammunition.
The US amendment - holding Hamas responsible for rocket attacks against Israel, the destruction of crossing points delivering humanitarian aid from Israel into Gaza, and the use of Palestinian civilians as human shields - won the support of 62 member states, but only after an attempt led by the Algerian delegation to prevent a vote outright failed.
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says the resolution represents a failure for Washington.
The dramatic three hour debate ended on Wednesday evening with resounding applause for the Palestinians as a resolution that censured Israeli actions in Gaza passed by 120-8, with 45 abstentions.
These could range from setting up an observer mission to a full-blown peacekeeping force, but action on any option would require backing from the Security Council, where the United States has veto power.
U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley appealed, citing another rule that says only a majority vote was required.
The resolution condemned the "firing of rockets from the Gaza Strip against Israeli civilian areas", which have increased following clashes, and requested the United Nations secretary general submit a written response regarding the safety of the Palestinian civilian population.
Riyad Mansour urged an emergency meeting of the 193-member world body Wednesday to do everything to protect civilians and to avert further destabilization so as encourage the possibility of peace "for which we have not yet lost all hope". "Therefore we need a fundamental change in the rules of the game as well as the players". "Is that a crime to ask for?".
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Arab and Islamic nations then chose to seek a vote on virtually the identical resolution at Wednesday's emergency meeting of the 193-member General Assembly, where there are no vetoes.
Israel's use of lethal force against Palestinian protestors along the Gaza strip border in recent weeks could amount to war crimes, Human Rights Watch said on Wednesday. It also seeks recommendations to protect Palestinian civilians.
Malaysia has welcomed the adoption of a resolution by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) calling for greater protection for Palestinians.
Standing with a half dozen Arab and Islamic supporters Friday, the Palestinian ambassador said Guterres "should utilize all the tools available to him in the (U.N.) Secretariat and on the ground, and with all of the collective mind of all of us who are ready and willing to help in any possible way".
"Our amendment takes a biased and unbalanced resolution and pushes the resolution in the right direction", she said.
The resolution also calls on all sides to respect global law and condemns all acts of violence against civilians.
Commenting on the decision, Turkish presidential aide Ibrahim Kalin called it "a big success" for the Palestinian cause and justice.
Australia, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, the Solomon Islands and Togo joined the United States and Israel in voting against the resolution.
General Assembly resolutions are not legally binding but carry political weight.
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