UN Assembly blames Israel for violence in enclave
A Palestinian-backed resolution blaming Israel for violence in Gaza was approved by the UN General Assembly.
The proposed resolution deploring Israel’s “excessive use of force” was passed on Wednesday with 120 votes to 8 and 45 abstentions. It passed after the UN narrowly rejected a US demand to add a condemnation of attacks on Israel by Gaza’s Hamas rulers.
The confrontation over Gaza, reflecting decades-old divisions between Israel and Palestine, played out with a few new twists.
The Algerian ambassador, Sabri Boukadoum, representing Arab nations, first sought to block a vote on the US amendment, saying it was not 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 US amendment to be put to a vote.
The US amendment was approved by a 62-58 vote, with 42 abstentions. But General Assembly President Miroslav Lajcak said that under an assembly rule, a two-thirds majority was needed, so the amendment failed. The US ambassador Nikki Haley appealed but the US lost the vote 66-73 with 26 abstentions.
More than 120 Palestinians have been killed and at least 3,800 wounded by Israeli soldiers since March 30. Most of them were unarmed.