UN as­sem­bly blames Is­rael for Gaza vi­o­lence

Times Colonist - - World -

CAMEROON, Cameroon — The United Na­tions Gen­eral As­sem­bly ap­proved a Pales­tinian-backed res­o­lu­tion Wed­nes­day blam­ing Is­rael for vi­o­lence in Gaza af­ter nar­rowly re­ject­ing a U.S. de­mand to add a con­dem­na­tion of at­tacks on Is­rael by Gaza’s Ha­mas rulers.

The votes re­flected wide con­cern in the 193-mem­ber world body that the res­o­lu­tion spon­sored by Arab and Is­lamic na­tions was one-sided and failed to even men­tion Ha­mas, which has fired over 100 rock­ets at Is­rael — an is­sue the United States at­tempted to rec­tify in its amend­ment.

Since near-weekly mass protests be­gan March 30 along the Is­rael-Gaza border, more than 120 Pales­tini­ans have been killed and more than 3,800 wounded by Is­raeli army fire. The over­whelm­ing ma­jor­ity of the dead and wounded have been un­armed, ac­cord­ing to Gaza health of­fi­cials. Is­rael says Ha­mas uses the protests as cover for at­tacks on the border fence.

Al­ge­rian Am­bas­sador Sabri Boukadoum, rep­re­sent­ing Arab na­tions, first sought to block a vote on the U.S. amend­ment, say­ing it wasn’t rel­e­vant to the res­o­lu­tion. He said it also un­der­mined rec­on­cil­i­a­tion ef­forts be­tween ri­val Pales­tinian fac­tions Ha­mas and Fatah as well as the “re­mote prospects” of re­viv­ing peace ne­go­ti­a­tions with Is­rael.

His mo­tion to take “no ac­tion” on the amend­ment was de­feated by a vote of 59-78 with 26 ab­sten­tions, al­low­ing the U.S. amend­ment to be put to a vote.

The U.S. mo­tion was ap­proved on 62-58 vote, with 42 ab­sten­tions. But Gen­eral As­sem­bly pres­i­dent Miroslav La­j­cak de­clared that un­der an as­sem­bly rule, a two-thirds ma­jor­ity was needed so the amend­ment failed.

U.S. Am­bas­sador Nikki Ha­ley ap­pealed, cit­ing an­other rule that says only a ma­jor­ity vote was re­quired. Af­ter a short break, La­j­cak then put the U.S. ap­peal to a vote. The U.S. nar­rowly lost that vote 66-73 with 26 ab­sten­tions.

Fi­nally, the as­sem­bly voted on the orig­i­nal Pales­tinian-backed res­o­lu­tion, ap­prov­ing it 120-8 with 45 ab­sten­tions.

The res­o­lu­tion’s text de­plores “any ex­ces­sive use of force” by Is­raeli forces, par­tic­u­larly in Gaza, and de­mands that Is­rael “re­frain from such ac­tions.” It also seeks rec­om­men­da­tions from UN Sec­re­tary-Gen­eral An­to­nio Gut­terese on en­sur­ing pro­tec­tion for Pales­tinian civil­ians, in­clud­ing an “in­ter­na­tional pro­tec­tion mech­a­nism.”

The Pales­tini­ans had ini­tially sought a Se­cu­rity Coun­cil res­o­lu­tion af­ter Is­rael’s mil­i­tary killed civil­ians dur­ing the mass protests in Gaza against the border block­ade im­posed by Is­rael and Egypt in 2007 af­ter Ha­mas over­ran the ter­ri­tory. The U.S. ve­toed that res­o­lu­tion June 1, with Ha­ley call­ing it “grossly one-sided” for crit­i­ciz­ing the use of force by Is­rael while not men­tion­ing Ha­mas.

Arab and Is­lamic na­tions then de­cided to seek a vote on vir­tu­ally the iden­ti­cal res­o­lu­tion at Wed­nes­day’s emer­gency meet­ing of the 193-mem­ber Gen­eral As­sem­bly, where there are no ve­toes.

The Pales­tini­ans and their sup­port­ers fol­lowed the same route they took in De­cem­ber af­ter the United States ve­toed a Se­cu­rity Coun­cil res­o­lu­tion call­ing on U.S. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump to re­nounce his recog­ni­tion of Is­rael as Jerusalem’s cap­i­tal. The Gen­eral As­sem­bly largely ig­nored Trump’s threats at the time to cut off aid to any coun­try that went against the United States and voted 128-9 to de­nounce the U.S. pres­i­dent’s recog­ni­tion of Jerusalem as Is­rael’s cap­i­tal and de­clare it “null and void.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.