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UN votes on resolution blaming Israel for Gaza massacre

Palestine ambassador to the UN Riyad Mansour delivering a speech at a forum [Getty]

Date of publication: 13 June, 2018

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Staunch Israel ally the US has called a UN resolution criticising the deadly use of force against Gazans as "fundamentally imbalanced" for not mentioning Hamas.
Palestinians and their supporters are asking the UN General Assembly to adopt a resolution criticising Israel's "excessive use of force" in Gaza.

Staunch Israel ally the US is demanding changes, saying the country is unfairly singled out in the draft. 

Arab and majority Muslim countries opted to go to the 193-member General Assembly, where there are no vetoes, after the US voted against adopting a nearly identical resolution at the Security Council on 1 June. 

Ambassador Nikki Haley called the 1 June Kuwait-sponsored resolution "grossly one-sided" for not mentioning Hamas, the Islamist group that rules Gaza. 

Since Gazans launched protests demanding the right of return on 30 March along the separation face, Israel has responded with live fire.

At least 128 Palestinians have been killed and more than 3,800 injured. No Israelis have died. 

Haley also sent a letter to all UN member states on Tuesday calling the General Assembly resolution "fundamentally imbalanced".

While Security Council resolutions are legally binding, General Assembly resolutions are not, although they do reflect international opinion.

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

The US routinely vetoes Security Council resolutions relating to Israel and votes against resolutions in the General Assembly. 

The draft General Assembly resolution demands that Israeli forces stop "any excessive, disproportionate and indiscriminate force". It 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".

The draft asks Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to make proposals within 60 days "on ways and means for ensuring the safety, protection and well-being of the Palestinian civilian population under Israeli occupation".

The vote comes on the day Human Rights Watch released a report urging the International Criminal Court to open an investigation into apparent Israeli war crimes.

Israel maintains a crippling blockade of Gaza it says is necessary to isolate Hamas. Critics charge it amounts to collective punishment of the territory's two million residents.

Agencies contributed to this report. 

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