U.N. General Assembly condemns Israeli violence against Palestinians
U.N. General Assembly condemns Israeli violence against Palestinians
Alexandr Scherbak TASS
14 June, 2018, 09:00
The United Nations General Assembly voted Wednesday to blame Israel for violence in Gaza last month, rejecting a USA amendment that would have condemned Hamas as well.
According to the IDF statement, the soldiers who engaged the vehicle of innocent Palestinians, including 15-year-old Muhammad Rafat Badran who was killed, had indications that it was the auto that had caused the Israeli injuries and that it might be on its way to endanger more Israelis. No Israelis have died.
The General Assembly adopted a resolution with 120 votes in favour, eight against and 45 abstentions.
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, who introduced the amendment to blame Hamas, criticized the UNGA for focusing on violence in Israel instead of in Nicaragua, Yemen or Myanmar.
Arab and Islamic nations then chose to seek a vote on virtually the identical resolution at Wednesday's emergency meeting of the General Assembly, where there are no vetoes. "What makes Gaza different for some is that attacking Israel is their favorite sport".
"We had more countries on the right side than the wrong side", Haley said.
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".
It deplored the use of indiscriminate force by Israeli forces against Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip, and the use of live ammunition against civilian protesters, including children, as well as medical personnel and journalists. It was put forward in the General Assembly by Algeria, Turkey and the Palestinians after the United States vetoed a similar resolution in the 15-member U.N. Security Council earlier this month.
While resolutions in the General Assembly are not legally binding, they carry political implication that can spark worldwide action.
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The General Assembly asked UN Secretary Genereal Antonio Guterres to recommend an "international protection mechanism" for occupied Palestinian territory.
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.
Palestinian Ambassador Riyad Mansour said Tuesday night that he is lobbying 191 member states - all but the USA and Israel - and expects to win.
"The UN bias against Israel runs very deep, but the fact that the American amendment against Hamas won a voting plurality in the UN General Assembly shows that times are changing", an official at the United States mission to the UN told The Algemeiner after the vote. It also seeks recommendations to protect Palestinian civilians.
On 1 June, the United States vetoed a Kuwait-drafted UN Security Council resolution that condemned Israel's use of force against Palestinian civilians, criticising it as a "grossly one-sided" view that failed to blame Hamas for the recent violence.
Taking the podium, Israeli Ambassador Danny Danon assailed the measure as an "attempt to take away our basic right to self-defense".
Algerian Ambassador Sabri Boukadoum, representing Arab nations, first sought to block a vote on the US amendment, saying it wasn't relevant to the resolution.
U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley appealed, citing another rule that says only a majority vote was required. That vote was 128 to 9, with 35 abstentions.
At least 40 Palestinians have had to have their limbs amputated as a result of Israel's actions along the Gaza border, according to the rights group.
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