UN General Assembly Condemns Israel for Excessive Force Against Gaza Civilians

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

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, who introduced the amendment to blame Hamas, criticized the UNGA for focusing on violence in Israel instead of in Nicaragua, Yemen or Myanmar.

The draft resolution asks Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to make recommendations on ensuring protection of Palestinian civilians, within 60 days, including on "an global protection mechanism".

The Trump administration has uniformly blamed Hamas for the violence.

The United Nations has passed a resolution calling for worldwide protection for civilians living in the occupied Palestinian territories.

The US is angrily condemning the resolution, with Nikki Haley declaring the resolution "morally bankrupt". This motion suggests that these issues are not even worthy of a vote in the General Assembly. Again, Haley challenged, and the third vote of the afternoon followed. After a short break, Lajcak then put the US appeal to a vote.

Australia, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, the Solomon Islands and Togo joined the United States and Israel in voting against the resolution.

The dramatic three hour debate ended on Wednesday evening with resounding applause for the Palestinians as a resolution that censured Israeli actions in Gaza passed by 120-8, with 45 abstentions. "Today, a plurality of 62 countries voted in favor of the US -led effort to address Hamas' responsibility for the disastrous conditions in Gaza". "By their votes, those countries recognized that peace will only be achieved when realities are recognized, including Israel's legitimate security interests, and the need to end Hamas' terrorism".

"Malaysia will continue to play an active role as a United Nations member state in contributing towards efforts to address the underlying issues and to attain a just, lasting and peaceful solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict", it said.

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"But the common practice of turning a blind eye to the U.N.'s anti-Israel bias is changing", she said. "That's why we are here today", Haley told the assembly.

Despite the tension over the votes, when it came to speeches during the debate, the General Assembly sounded all too familiar.

The White House peace team did not request a sit-down with the Palestinians, who have refused to meet since Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and moved the US embassy there. Israel says Hamas has used the protests as cover for attacks on the border fence.

Haley sent a letter to all United Nations member states Tuesday calling the proposed General Assembly resolution "fundamentally imbalanced" for "ignoring basic truths about the situation in Gaza" and not mentioning Hamas.

"Advancing peace is not the goal of this resolution".

"We had more countries on the right side than the wrong side", Haley said in a statement. The Palestinian Authority's foreign minister, Riyad al-Maliki, instead derided the United States effort as little more than "games and gimmicks".

General Assembly spokesman Brendan Varma said Wednesday the world body would first hear speeches from member states.

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