Palestinians seek United Nations vote blaming Israel; US wants changes

Hundreds of Palestinians stage a protest in Ramallah against sanctions imposed by the Palestinian Authority on the Gaza Strip

Hundreds of Palestinians stage a protest in Ramallah against sanctions imposed by the Palestinian Authority on the Gaza Strip

The resolution deplores "any excessive use of force" by Israeli forces, particularly in Gaza, and demands that Israel "refrain from such actions". According to HRW, since the demonstrations started on March 20, at least 118 people were killed and 3,895 wounded by the Israeli troops, who use live rounds to quell the protests. No Israelis have died.

When the voting tally on the original resolution produced the more familiar United Nations split of 120 in favor, 8 against, and 45 abstentions, there was relieved applause from the Palestinian delegation. 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 to the United Nations Nikki Haley called on U.N. member states Wednesday to vote on an amendment condemning the Palestinian terror group Hamas.

Amid global condemnation of its use of lethal force, Israel said numerous dead were militants and that the Israeli army was repelling attacks on the border fence between Israel and Gaza. But "thanks to the combined efforts with our American friends and our allies from around the world, we proved today that the automatic majority against Israel in the not destiny and can be changed". It is totally one-sided.

France was among 12 European Union countries that backed the resolution, but Britain abstained along with Italy, Poland and 13 other European Union member-states.

Voting with the United States and Israel were Australia, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Solomon Islands and Togo.

"The hypocrisy of the General Assembly knows no bounds as anti-Israel elements deceitfully blocked the condemnation of Hamas, a murderous terrorist organization".

"This was a badge of shame for the U.N.", Danon said.

The vote came after a similarly drafted resolution failed at the U.N. Security Council because of a US veto on June 1.

The resolution includes non-binding calls for the UN Secretary-General to come up with a mechanism to protect the Gaza civilians.

Israel's U.N. Ambassador Danny Danon issued a statement welcoming the US amendment. She asked pointedly why the killing of 146 protestors by government forces in Nicaragua in recent months, or the recent mass arrests of protestors by the Iranian regime, were not deemed worthy of a special session of the General Assembly. "Therefore we need a fundamental change in the rules of the game as well as the players".

Malaysia has welcomed the adoption of a resolution by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) calling for greater protection for Palestinians. This time, Lajčák's ruling was upheld - 66 states voted with the U.S., with 73 voting in favor of the ruling, and 26 abstaining.

None of Haley's points were directly addressed by those opposing the United States amendment, despite more than two hours of speeches.

Palestinians and their supporters said most protesters were unarmed civilians and Israel used excessive force against them.

"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.

Palestinian Ambassador Riyad Mansour said Tuesday night that he is lobbying 191 member states - all but the US and Israel - and expects to win.

Backed by Arab countries, the Palestinians had lobbied to win as many votes as those cast in support of the Jerusalem resolution.

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