United Nations readies for vote to condemn Israel amid USA opposition
United Nations readies for vote to condemn Israel amid USA opposition
Hundreds of Palestinians stage a protest in Ramallah against sanctions imposed by the Palestinian Authority on the Gaza Strip
14 June, 2018, 13:57
The report came ahead of an emergency UN General Assembly meeting on Wednesday to vote on a resolution condemning Israel's "excessive use of force".
The vote came after a similarly drafted resolution failed at the U.N. Security Council because of a USA veto on June 1. Human Rights Watch also suggested that "third countries" place sanctions "against officials responsible for ongoing serious human rights violations" in Gaza.
Meanwhile, the United States voted against a Kuwait-drafted UN Security Council resolution on June 2 calling for the protection of Palestinian civilians.
The Arab-backed resolution was first introduced in the Security Council after more than 120 Palestinians were killed during protests near the border with Gaza in the last three months.
Witnesses and victims of the crackdown told HRW that IDF soldiers often shot at people who "posed no imminent threat" to them, and some of the victims were 200-300 meters from the border fence.
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The General Assembly asked UN Secretary Genereal Antonio Guterres to recommend an "international protection mechanism" for occupied Palestinian territory.
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"I do not think that we will see any change at the moment and therefore we must show more resolve, because in the end we are facing Hamas, the hostile organisation that does not recognise Israel", he said adding that any facilitations or changes in the nature of the humanitarian situation in Gaza will not change the nature of the hard reality there.
US Ambassador Nikki Haley dismissed the resolution as "one-sided" and accused Arab countries of trying to score political points at home by seeking to condemn Israel at the United Nations.
The General Assembly largely ignored Trump's threats at the time to cut off aid to any country that went against the USA and voted 128-9 to denounce the president's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital and declare it "null and void". Turkey and Algeria brought the resolution on behalf the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, and Haley criticized members who are quick to denounce Israel but scared to oppose Hamas.
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.
Australia, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Solomon Islands and Togo joined Israel and the U.S. in voting against the resolution. "What are you afraid of to vote on this amendment?"
Turkey's Ambassador Feridun Hadi Sinirlioglu defended the resolution, saying it was "about taking sides with worldwide law" and showing the Palestinians that the world "does care about their suffering".
The General Assembly vote on Wednesday garnered fewer votes in favor than a similar one in December that rejected President Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital. "It is despicable for any country to even consider to vote for a resolution condemning Israel while refusing to support the condemnation of Hamas".
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We're hopeful that we can achieve that in the two and half years", he said , adding that there is "a lot of work left to do". A White House National Security Council official said some types of training would continue even after Trump's announcement.
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