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Palestinians seek UN vote blaming Israel; US wants changes

AP  |  United Nations 

The Palestinians and their supporters are hoping an emergency meeting of the UN tomorrow will adopt a resolution deploring what it calls Israel's "excessive use of force," particularly in Gaza, and seeking recommendations to protect Palestinian civilians. The US is demanding changes.

Arab and Islamic nations decided to go to the 193-member assembly, where there are no vetoes, following the US veto of virtually the same resolution in the on June 1. US called that Kuwait-sponsored resolution "grossly one-sided" for criticising the use of force by while not mentioning the Islamic militant group Hamas, which rules

Haley sent a letter to all UN member states today calling the proposed resolution "fundamentally imbalanced" for "ignoring basic truths about the situation in Gaza" and not mentioning

She proposed an amendment condemning for firing rockets into and inciting violence along the Gaza-border fence, "thereby putting civilians at risk." The proposal also would condemn the diversion of resources in to building tunnels to infiltrate Israel and equipment to fire rockets and express "grave concern" at the destruction of the Kerem Shalom crossing point to Israel "by actors in "

Haley said the amendment "is not controversial" and simply condemns "behaviour we should all recognise as harmful to the Palestinian people." The letter said the amendment would be voted on before the resolution.

While resolutions are legally binding, resolutions are not, although they do reflect international opinion.

The Palestinians sought a resolution after killed civilians during mass protests in Gaza aimed at the border blockade imposed by Israel and in 2007 after overran the territory.

Since the near-weekly protests began March 30, more than 120 Palestinians have been killed and over 3,800 wounded by fire. The overwhelming majority of the dead and wounded have been unarmed, according to Gaza health officials. Israel says Hamas has used the protests as cover for attacks on the border fence.

The marchers have also pressed demands for a "right of return" for descendants of Palestinian refugees to ancestral homes in what is now Israel. More than 700,000 Palestinians were expelled or fled in the 1948 Mideast war over Israel's creation. Two-thirds of Gaza's 2 million residents are descendants of refugees.

The draft General Assembly resolution demands that Israeli forces stop "any excessive, disproportionate and indiscriminate force." It calls for "immediate steps towards ending the closure and the restrictions imposed by Israel on movement and access into and out of the " It also "deplores the firing of rockets from the against Israeli civilian areas," but doesn't say who is doing the firing.

The draft asks to make proposals within 60 days "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."

Standing with a half dozen Arab and Islamic supporters Friday, the Palestinian UN ambassador, Riyad Mansour, said Guterres "should utilise all the tools available to him in the (UN) Secretariat and on the ground, and with all of the collective mind of all of us who are ready and willing to help in any possible way.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, June 13 2018. 05:05 IST