United Nations slams 'excessive' Israeli force against Palestinians in Gaza

United Nations slams 'excessive' Israeli force against Palestinians in Gaza

The resolution, adopted at an emergency special session yesterday, deplores any use of "excessive, disproportionate and indiscriminate" force by the Israeli military against Palestinian civilians, particularly in the Gaza Strip. It was put forward in the General Assembly by Algeria, Turkey and the Palestinians after the United States vetoed a similar resolution in the 15-member U.N. Security Council earlier this month.

With a significant majority, 120 countries voted in favor of the resolution, 45 abstained, and 7 joined Israel in voting against it: the United States, Australia, Togo, the Marshall islands, Solomon Islands, Micronesia and Nauru.

"We welcome the adoption of the resolution on the Protection of the Palestinian People in the U.N. General Assembly with a vast majority". A similar proposal was vetoed by the U.S. in the Security Council a few weeks ago. The move comes after the US relocated its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem despite strong opposition from the world.

Amid worldwide 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.

The resolution would require the UN Secretary-General to submit a written report within 60 days of its adoption, with recommendations for the establishment of an worldwide protection mechanism for the Palestinian civilian population. "Responsible members of the worldwide community have shown once again that Palestinian people will never be left alone in the face of grave violations of their fundamental rights, primarily their right to live, and will not keep silent against injustice", the Foreign Ministry said in a written statement after the vote on late July 13.

Despite global condemnation of its use of lethal force, Israel said numerous dead were armed and that the Israeli army was defending itself against attacks on the border fence with Gaza. Washington has maintained Israel's right to defend itself and refrained from joining calls for Israeli restraint.

According to the terms of the resolution, Guterres has 60 days to come back with suggestions for ways to ensure "the safety, protection and wellbeing of the Palestinian civilian population under Israeli occupation".

While the General Assembly text condemned the firing of rockets from Gaza into Israeli civilian areas, it did not mention Hamas, the group that governs Gaza.

US Ambassador the the UN Nikki Haley spoke at the General Assembly and criticized the clear bias against Israel reflected in the "one-sided" resolution.

"For some, attacking Israel is their favourite political sport".

"By supporting this resolution you are colluding with a terrorist organization, by supporting this resolution you are empowering Hamas", Israel's U.N. Ambassador Danny Danon told the General Assembly before the vote.

An amendment presented by the USA that condemned Hamas for "inciting violence" along the border with Gaza failed to garner the two-thirds majority needed for adoption.

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