United Nations resolution condemning Israel passes over USA objections


The U.N. General Assembly approved a Palestinian-backed resolution Wednesday blaming Israel for violence in Gaza and deploring its "excessive use of force", after narrowly rejecting a USA demand to add a condemnation of attacks on Israel by Gaza's Hamas rulers.

The official also said that US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman's return to Washington early in the week was not to prepare for presenting the peace plan but rather was a routine visit for general talks and to update Kushner and Greenblatt ahead of their trip to the region.

It also seeks recommendations from UN Secretary-General Antonio Gutterese on ensuring protection for Palestinian civilians, including an "international protection mechanism".

Wednesday's assembly meeting reflected the deep divisions that persist over the decades-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

At least 129 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire during protests near the border with Gaza that began at the end of March.

Arab and Islamic nations then made a decision to seek a vote on virtually the identical resolution at Wednesday's emergency meeting of the 193-member General Assembly, where there are no vetoes.

"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. But a USA official, who was not named in the Channel 10 TV report, said that if the Palestinians show willingness to meet the pair of United States envoys, the American team would be open to a meeting. But General Assembly President Miroslav Lajcak declared that under an assembly rule, a two-thirds majority was needed so the amendment failed.

Finally, the assembly voted on the original Palestinian-backed resolution, approving it 120-8 with 45 abstentions.

The U.S.' support for Israel during the recent uptick in violence on the Gaza-Israel border has been criticized by many human rights groups.

"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 permanent observer of the Palestinian mission to the United Nations, ambassador Riyad Mansour said that the USA amendment was offered in "bad faith" and said that the "illegal, belligerent, military occupation is the primary source and root cause of the recurrent and emergent crises we face".

"We are asking for a simple thing", Mansour told the assembly.

The tour comes amid a nadir in relations between the United States and the Palestinians, with the Palestinian Authority refusing to speak to Washington over the USA recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital and the subsequent relocation of the U.S. embassy to the city last month. He called the US amendment a "bad-faith attempt" to shift the focus away from "the core objective of protecting civilians and upholding worldwide law". Unlike the Security Council resolutions, those adopted in the General Assembly are non-binding.

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.

It also "deplores the firing of rockets from the Gaza Strip against Israeli civilian areas", but doesn't say who is doing the firing.

The General Assembly last held a similarly contentious vote on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in December, when it rejected President Donald Trump´s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel´s capital and move the USA embassy there.