U.N. General Assembly condemns Israeli violence against Palestinians

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The Palestinians and their supporters have called an emergency meeting of the U.N. General Assembly hoping to adopt a resolution Wednesday deploring what it calls Israel's "excessive use of force", particularly in Gaza.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley addresses a United Nations General Assembly meeting ahead of a vote on a draft resolution that would deplore the use of excessive force by Israeli troops against Palestinian civilians at U.N. headquarters in NY, U.S., June 13, 2018.

Palestine's United Nations ambassador had called for the emergency meeting where he urged the General Assembly to adopt a resolution to address escalating violence in Gaza and "the crisis" of protecting civilians following the killing of more than 120 Palestinians by Israeli forces.

Turkey's Ambassador Feridun Hadi Sinirlioglu defended the resolution, saying it was "about taking sides with global law" and showing the Palestinians that the world "does care about their suffering".

Palestinian Ambassador Riyad Mansour dismissed the United States amendments blaming Hamas as "games and gimmicks" and urged ambassadors not to be "fooled" by the USA proposal. The United States sought to challenge the ruling requiring a two-thirds majority but that was defeated in a separate vote. "What are you afraid of to vote on this amendment?"

As the General Assembly prepared for its final vote of the day, on the unamended resolution sponsored by Algeria and Turkey, it was already clear to stunned Arab delegates that one-third of the UN's 193 member states had joined the U.S. in condemning Hamas - and that many more chose to abstain, rather than vote against.

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The resolution passed by a vote of 120-8 with 45 countries abstaining. But as a later statement from Haley emphasized, the fact remained that "a plurality of 62 countries voted in favor of the US-led effort to address Hamas's 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".

"This was a badge of shame for the U.N.", Danon said.

"But the common practice of turning a blind eye to the U.N.'s anti-Israel bias is changing", she said.

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

The marchers have also pressed demands for a "right of return" for descendants of Palestinian refugees to ancestral homes in what is now Israel. The rioting and violence along the border between Israel and Palestinian-controlled Gaza involved attacking Israeli soldiers and resulted in about 120 Palestinians being killed, most of whom were members of terror groups.

"We are asking for a simple thing", Mansour told the assembly. It is totally one-sided. U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley called that resolution "grossly one-sided" for blaming Israel while not mentioning Gaza's Hamas rulers. "Such one-sided resolutions at the United Nations do nothing to advance peace between Israel and the Palestinians".

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