United Nations votes by strong majority to condemn Israel over Gaza violence

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley addresses the 10th emergency special session of the General Assembly on “Illegal Israeli actions in Occupied East Jerusalem and the rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territory.” Credit U.N

"It is despicable for any country to even consider to vote for a resolution condemning Israel while refusing to support the condemnation of Hamas", he said.

Even before the United Nations passed a General Assembly condemning Israel for "excessive use of force" in Gaza, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised USA ambassador Nikki Haley for Wednesday night her spirited defense of Israel in the U.N. and her efforts to get an amendment to the resolution added that would condemn Hamas violence.

The 193-member assembly approved the resolution by a vote of 120-8, with 45 nations abstaining. "It is about deterring further violence from taking place", he said.

The resolution deplores "any excessive use of force" by Israeli forces, particularly in Gaza, and demands that Israel "refrain from such actions".

"The worldwide community needs to rip up the old playbook, where Israel conducts investigations that mainly whitewash the conduct of its troops and the United States blocks global accountability with its Security Council Veto, and instead impose real costs for such blatant disregard for Palestinian lives".

"No country in this chamber would act with more restraint than Israel has", Haley said at a May 15 U.N. Security Council meeting.

The Palestinians and their supporters are asking an emergency meeting of the U.N. General Assembly to adopt a resolution blaming Israel for recent violence in Gaza - and the U.S.is demanding that Gaza's Hamas rulers be condemned as well. "We want our civilian population to be protected". He said he will discuss the Gaza situation with USA envoys Jared Kushner, Jason Greenblatt and David Friedman when they arrive in Israel next week to discuss the "ways to promote peace between Israel and the Palestinians and between Israel and the Arab world in general".

Israel's U.N. Ambassador Danny Danon issued a statement welcoming the US amendment.


"We can not remain silent in the face of the most violent crimes and human rights violations being systematically perpetrated against our people", Mansour said.

The resolution adopted Wednesday 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".

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

Australia, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Solomon Islands and Togo joined Israel and the United States in voting against the resolution.

"The resolution is one-sided, makes not one mention of Hamas which routinely initiates violence", the U.S. envoy said during the debate preceding the vote, adding that "What makes Gaza different is that attacking Israel is their favorite political sport".

"By supporting this resolution you are colluding with a terrorist organization, by supporting this resolution you are empowering Hamas", Danon said.

L-R: Israeli Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer, US President Donald Trump's Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt, White House Senior Adviser Jared Kushner, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, US Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategy Dina Powell and US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman meet in Tel Aviv on August 24, 2017.

While Security Council resolutions are legally binding, General Assembly resolutions are not, although Varma stressed that they do reflect "political will" as well as global opinion.

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