120 countries blame Israel for 'excessive' force against Palestinians

Clay Curtis
June 14, 2018

The report came ahead of an emergency UN General Assembly meeting on Wednesday to vote on a resolution condemning Israel's "excessive use of force".

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.

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.

Haley's comments came as the USA blocked a Security Council resolution calling for a probe into the violence.

The proposed USA amendment would also condemn the diversion of resources in Gaza to building tunnels to infiltrate Israel and equipment to fire rockets and express "grave concern" at the destruction of the Kerem Shalom crossing point to Israel "by actors in Gaza".

The U.S. amendment to condemn Hamas, which was voted on first, was approved by a vote of 62-58 with 42 abstentions.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley called on U.N. member states Wednesday to vote on an amendment condemning the Palestinian terror group Hamas. Tens of thousands of Palestinians gather weekly at the fence and attempt to breach it, hoping to reach what they say are lands they own within Israel.

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The draft General Assembly resolution calls for "immediate steps towards ending the closure and the restrictions imposed by Israel on movement and access into and out of the Gaza Strip". We need protection for our civilian population.

"Israel's use of lethal force when there was no imminent threat to life has taken a heavy toll in life and limb", said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch.

#UNGA adopts resolution on Protection of the Palestinian civilian population with vote of 120 countries in favour; 8 against; and 45 abstentions.

Palestinian Ambassador Riyad Mansour said Tuesday night that he is lobbying 191 member states - all but the USA and Israel - and expects to win.

In her speech to the delegates, Haley asserted that condemning Israel was a "favorite political sport" at the UN. Turkey and Algeria brought the resolution on behalf the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, and Haley criticized members who are quick to denounce Israel but scared to oppose Hamas.

The General Assembly last held a similarly contentious vote on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in December, when it rejected President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and move the USA embassy there. It "deplores the firing of rockets from the Gaza Strip against Israeli civilian areas", but doesn't say who is doing the firing.

In December 128 countries defied President Donald Trump and voted in favor of a U.N. General Assembly resolution calling for the United States to drop its recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

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