United Nations votes by strong majority to condemn Israel over Gaza violence

UN Assembly approves resolution blaming Israel for Gaza violence | TheHill

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Palestinians in the besieged coastal enclave have been staging week-long protests demanding their right to return to the homes and lands their families were expelled from 70 years ago.

The resolution stated it "deplores the use of any excessive, disproportionate and indiscriminate force by the Israeli forces against Palestinian civilians in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and particularly in the Gaza Strip", citing Israel's use of live ammunition against protesters and the deaths of a journalist and medical personnel.

The United States failed in a bid to amend the resolution with a paragraph that would have condemned violence by Hamas.

Since the protests began on March 30, Israeli forces have killed 124 Palestinian and wounded more than 3,800 others. The overwhelming majority of the dead and wounded have been unarmed, according to Gaza health officials.

Amid global condemnation of its use of lethal force, Israel claimed numerous dead were militants and that the Israeli army was repelling attacks on the fence separating Israel from Gaza. Israel accuses Hamas of trying to carry out attacks and damage the border fence under the guise of the protests.

"By supporting this resolution you are colluding with a terrorist organization, by supporting this resolution you are empowering Hamas", Danon said. "We want to make sure that doesn't happen", he said.

On 1 June, the U.S. 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.

In the General Assembly, the confrontation over Gaza, reflecting decades-old divisions between Israel and the Palestinians, played out with a few new twists.

"By supporting this resolution you are colluding with a terrorist organisation, by supporting this resolution you are empowering Hamas", Israel's United Nations ambassador Danny Danon told the General Assembly before the vote. It also seeks recommendations to protect Palestinian civilians.

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The Algerian blocking move was itself put to a vote, with 78 members opposing, 26 abstaining and 59 in favor - a rare defeat for the pro-Palestinian bloc in the General Assembly, and not the last of the afternoon.

Haley sent a letter to all United Nations member states Tuesday calling the proposed General Assembly resolution "fundamentally imbalanced" for "ignoring basic truths about the situation in Gaza" and not mentioning Hamas.

Before the vote, the United States ambassador Nikki Haley said there were "no flawless actors" on either side of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

A US official also told Axios that the Trump administration wants to launch a peace plan when the circumstances are "right", and that Kushner and Greenblatt are interested in input from the parties involved. This time, Lajčák's ruling was upheld - 66 states voted with the U.S., with 73 voting in favor of the ruling, and 26 abstaining.

The vote at the General Assembly was 120 votes in favor, 8 votes against, and 45 abstentions, for the resolution entitled "Protection of the Palestinian civilian population".

Senior White House adviser Jared Kushner and his father-in-law President Donald Trump's Middle East peace team will travel to Israel, Egypt and Saudi Arabia next week to address the ongoing conflict in Gaza, a USA national security official said.

"But the common practice of turning a blind eye to the U.N.'s anti-Israel bias is changing", she said.

"Hamas has been the de facto government in Gaza since 2007", Haley said". "By their votes, those countries recognized that peace will only be achieved when realities are recognized, including Israel's legitimate security interests, and the need to end Hamas' terrorism".

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