The United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday passed a resolution condemning Israel for excessive use of force against Palestinian civilians during recent clashes at the Gaza border, AP reported. The resolution called for an international protection mechanism for occupied Palestinian territory.
The General Assembly adopted the resolution with 120 votes in favour, eight against and 45 abstentions. The resolution condemned firing of rockets from Gaza into Israeli civilian areas, but did not mention the Hamas militant organisation.
The resolution asked UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to report back within 60 days on proposals “on ways and means for ensuring the safety, protection and well-being of the Palestinian civilian population under Israeli occupation, including...recommendations regarding an international protection mechanism”, Reuters reported.
The United States had proposed to add a paragraph to the resolution explicitly condemning Hamas for violence at Gaza border and digging tunnels to infiltrate into Israel. “The nature of this resolution clearly demonstrates that politics is driving the day,” US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley told the General Assembly before the vote. “It is totally one-sided. It makes not one mention of the Hamas terrorists who routinely initiate the violence in Gaza.” However, the proposal failed to garner the required two-thirds of votes.
Algeria and Turkey proposed the resolution. The United States, Israel, Nauru, Togo, Australia, Solomon Islands, Micronesia and Marshall Islands voted against it.
“The UN’s incessant focus on Israel not only brings shame to the organisation, it also draws attention away from so many other pressing issues that demand the attention of the international community,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, according to The Times of Israel.
More than 120 Palestinians have been killed since they began the “Great March of Return” on March 30. Palestinian refugees have been demanding the right to return to their homes, which they were forced to flee from during the creation of Israel 70 years ago. The tensions were exacerbated by the United States’ decision to relocate its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
In December, 128 countries, including India, voted in favour of the resolution calling on the United States to withdraw its decision to recognise Jerusalem as the Israeli capital.