Israel using excessive force: UN
Condemned firing of rockets
THE UN General Assembly condemned Israel yesterday for excessive use of force against Palestinian civilians and asked UN chief Antonio Guterres to recommend an “international protection mechanism” for occupied Palestinian territory.
The General Assembly adopted a resolution with 120 votes in favour, eight against and 45 abstentions. It was put forward by Algeria, Turkey and the Palestinians after the US vetoed a similar resolution in the UN Security Council earlier this month.
The General Assembly text condemned the firing of rockets from Gaza into Israeli civilian areas, but did not mention Hamas, the Islamist group that controls Gaza.
“The nature of this resolution clearly demonstrates that politics is driving the day. It makes not one mention of the Hamas terrorists who routinely initiate the violence in Gaza,” US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said.
The US failed in a bid to amend the resolution with a paragraph that would have condemned violence by Hamas.
“By supporting this resolution you are colluding with a terrorist organisation, by supporting this resolution you are empowering Hamas,” Israel’s UN ambassador Danny Danon said.
Australia, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Solomon Islands and Togo joined Israel and the US in voting against the resolution.
More than 120 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in Gaza border protests since March 30. The largest number of deaths occurred on May 14, the day the US moved its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.
Palestinians and their supporters said most protesters were unarmed civilians and Israel used excessive force against them.
“We need protection of our civilian population,” Palestinian UN envoy Riyad Mansour said, adding that the resolution was “intended to contribute to a de-escalation of the volatile situation”.
“We cannot remain silent in the face of the most violent crimes and human rights violations being systematically perpetrated against our people,” Mansour said.
The resolution asked Guterres to report back within 60 days on proposals. – Reuters/ African News Agency (ANA)