Friday, 17 August, 2018

120 countries at United Nations condemn Israel over Gaza violence

Palestinian Authority bans anti Abbas protests Hamas cries foul UN Assembly approves resolution blaming Israel for Gaza violence | TheHill
Deanna Wagner | 14 June, 2018, 08:58

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.

An amendment presented by the United States condemning Hamas for "inciting violence" along the border with Gaza failed to garner the two-third majority needed for adoption.

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.

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.

A US 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". He called the US amendment a "bad-faith attempt" to shift the focus away from "the core objective of protecting civilians and upholding worldwide law".

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".

U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman is slated to arrive in Washington, D.C., this week, for regular meetings and to "catch up" with Kushner and Greenblatt before the head to the Middle East, the official said.

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

Haley said in a statement afterward that "in the face of Hamas terrorists routinely inciting violence. today the United Nations made the morally bankrupt judgment that the recent Gaza violence is all Israel's fault".

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Mansour stressed: "We need action. Is that a crime to ask for?" he said.

The Palestinians and their supporters chose to go to the 193-member assembly, where there are no vetoes, after the US vetoed virtually the same resolution in the Security Council on June 1.

"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.

The draft resolution proposed by Arab and Islamic countries deplores "any excessive use of force" by Israeli forces, particularly in Gaza, and demands that Israel "refrain from such actions".

"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.

Kushner and Greenblatt also have laid the blame for violence on Israel's border with the Gaza Strip exclusively on Hamas, the terrorist group that controls Gaza.

Voting with the United States and Israel were Australia, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Solomon Islands and Togo.

Kushner has kept a tight lid on the plan, but Greenblatt has been open in his criticisms of the Palestinian Authority for walking away from the pre-negotiations last December after Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

General Assembly resolutions are not legally binding but carry political weight.