UN Assembly blames Israel for Gaza violence

UN Assembly blames Israel for Gaza violence

The United Nations General Assembly voted Wednesday on an Arab-backed resolution to condemn Israel for force against Palestinian civilians, including "excessive, indiscriminate force by the Israeli forces". Human Rights Watch said this week that Israel's use of lethal force against Palestinian demonstrators in the Gaza Strip in recent weeks may constitute war crimes.

The resolution would require the UN Secretary-General to submit a written report within 60 days of its adoption, with recommendations for the establishment of an global protection mechanism for the Palestinian civilian population.

She said the USA will seek an amendment condemning Hamas for firing rockets into Israel.

A USA bid to condemn Hamas, a Palestinian fundamentalist group, for attacks on Israel also received a majority vote in favor - 62-58 with 42 abstaining - but the president of the General Assembly rejected it because it didn't have the required two-thirds majority to pass. Speaking from the floor, US Ambassador Nikki Haley countered that "denying a vote on the US amendment would be the height of this body's hypocrisy".

Israel's U.N. Ambassador Danny Danon said they "welcome the American amendment condemning the terrorists of Hamas".

Palestinians and their supporters said most protesters were unarmed civilians and Israel used excessive force against them.

Haley sent a letter to United Nations ambassadors Tuesday calling the proposed General Assembly resolution "fundamentally imbalanced" for not mentioning Hamas.

Turkey's Ambassador Feridun Hadi Sinirlioglu defended the resolution, saying it was "about taking sides with worldwide law" and showing the Palestinians that the world "does care about their suffering". The measure, sponsored by Palestine, Turkey and Algeria, comes roughly a month after dozens of Palestinians were killed during protests along the Gaza border. "Therefore we need a fundamental change in the rules of the game as well as the players".

In apparent frustration, Haley said "for some, attacking Israel is their favorite political sport". We need protection for our civilian population.

"We can not remain silent in the face of the most violent crimes and human rights violations being systematically perpetrated against our people", Mansour said.

Arab and Islamic nations then made a decision to seek a vote on virtually the identical resolution at Wednesday's emergency meeting of the General Assembly, where there are no vetoes. It "deplores the firing of rockets from the Gaza Strip against Israeli civilian areas", but doesn't say who is doing the firing. That vote was 128 to 9, with 35 abstentions.

The White House peace team did not request a sit-down with the Palestinians, who have refused to meet since Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and moved the US embassy there.

They followed the same route they took in December after the United States vetoed a Security Council resolution calling on President Donald Trump to renounce his recognition of Israel as Jerusalem's capital.