Gazans hold holiday prayer near Israel fence


The United Nations General Assembly voted to condemn Israel for its response to the months-long "March of Return" protests in the Gaza Strip, but torpedoed a USA -drafted amendment that would have denounced Hamas' role in fomenting violence.

The vote for the "Protection of the Palestinian civilian population" resolution, which took place in the General Assembly in New York City, was first proposed by Algeria, Turkey and the Palestinians. The United States-sponsored condemnation was an amendment to a resolution that condemned Israel for the deaths of 120 Gazans in almost three months of Hamas-led violent riots.

There were 120 countries, who voted in favour of the resolution that deplored the use of "excessive, disproportionate and indiscriminate force" by Israeli against Palestinians.

Having failed to push a condemnation of Israel through the UN Security Council, thanks to a USA veto, champions of the Palestinian cause turned to the General Assembly, even though resolutions passed there are not legally binding.

Israeli aircraft fired warning shots Friday as a smaller-than-usual group of protesting Palestinians gathered along the border in Gaza, some launching incendiary balloons and kites, Israel's military said.

Since major border protests broke out on March 30, at least 130 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire.

"For some, attacking Israel is their favourite political sport".

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Haley called the final General Assembly ruling a "morally bankrupt judgement". For his part, Palestinian Ambassador to the UN Riyad Mansour hailed the result, arguing that the Palestinians have the same right to security as any other people.

An amendment presented by the United States that condemned Hamas for "inciting violence" along the border with Gaza failed to garner the two-thirds majority needed for adoption.

U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley sumitted a draft amendment that was voted, although some countries filed a motion that it did not get the necessary votes.

"By supporting this resolution you are colluding with a terrorist organization, by supporting this resolution you are empowering Hamas", Israel's UN Ambassador Danny Danon told the General Assembly.

Malaysia has welcomed the adoption of a resolution by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) calling for greater protection for Palestinians.

The US amendment sought to add to the Arab-sponsored text, a paragraph, by which the Assembly would "condemn Hamas for repeatedly firing rockets into Israel and for inciting violence along the boundary fence, thereby putting civilians at risk".