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June 15, 2018  RSS feed
World News

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UN condemns Israel for Gaza violence; US objects

(JTA) – The United Nations General Assembly at an emergency meeting on the Gaza Strip condemned Israel for an “excessive use of force” and rejected U.S. bids to amend the resolution to also condemn Hamas.

The resolution, backed by Arab countries, also calls for “protection of the Palestinian civilian population” in Gaza. It is similar to one that was introduced at the U.N. Security Council earlier that was vetoed by the U.S.

Some 130 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire since protests along the Gaza border began on March 30, including many members of the Hamas terrorist group that controls the strip. There have not been any Israeli casualties, though thousands of acres of Israeli land has been burned by incendiary kites and explosives-laden balloons flown from Gaza into southern Israel in order to start fires.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley opposed the measure targeting Israel. Her amendments condemning Hamas for firing rockets into Israel, inciting violence during the border protests and using resources that could help civilians build terror tunnels to infiltrate Israel were rejected.

“The nature of this resolution clearly demonstrates that politics is driving the day,” she said in her speech. “It makes not one mention of Hamas, who routinely initiates violence in Gaza. Such one-sided resolutions at the U.N. do nothing to advance peace between Israel and the Palestinians.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanked Haley for her defense of Israel. “The U.N.’s incessant focus on Israel not only brings shame to the organization, it also draws attention away from so many other pressing issues that demand the attention of the international community.”

General Assembly resolutions are nonbinding, while Security Council resolutions are binding.

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