120 countries condemn Israel over Gaza deaths, dismiss United States bid blaming Hamas

Abdullah Weiler

UN Assembly approves resolution blaming Israel for Gaza violence | TheHill

The U.N. General Assembly has approved a Palestinian-backed resolution blaming Israel for violence in Gaza after narrowly rejecting a us demand to add an amendment condemning attacks on Israel by Gaza's Hamas rulers.

It deplored the use of indiscriminate force by Israeli forces against Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip, and the use of live ammunition against civilian protesters, including children, as well as medical personnel and journalists.

The official's observation followed an afternoon of high drama over a resolution submitted by Arab and Islamic member states that blamed Israel for the Gaza violence, ignored Hamas entirely, and demanded "international protection" for Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Senior White House adviser Jared Kushner and his father-in-law President Donald Trump's Middle East peace team will travel to Israel, Egypt and Saudi Arabia next week to address the ongoing conflict in Gaza, a USA national security official said.

She said the USA will seek an amendment condemning Hamas for firing rockets into Israel. 62 countries voted in favor of the amendment and only 58 voted against it, but the amendment was shot down for failing to reach a two thirds majority.

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U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman is slated to arrive in Washington, D.C., this week, for regular meetings and to "catch up" with Kushner and Greenblatt before the head to the Middle East, the official said.

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

Palestinian Ambassador Riyad Mansour urged the assembly before the vote to address the escalating violence in Gaza and "the crisis" of protecting civilians. We need protection for our civilian population.

The marchers in Gaza have pressed demands for a "right of return" for descendants of Palestinian refugees to ancestral homes in what is now Israel. "We want our civilian population to be protected".

The primary resolution was introduced by representatives in Turkey, on behalf of the Islamic Cooperation, and Algeria, on behalf of the Arab League.

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Clashes along Israel's border with Gaza have escalated significantly in recent months, following United States recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital which infuriated Palestinians, who share claims to the city.

"It is about deterring further violence from taking place", he said. "What makes Gaza different for some is that attacking Israel is their favorite sport".

His motion to take "no action" on the amendment was defeated by a vote of 59-78 with 26 abstentions, allowing the USA amendment to be put to a vote.

It also "deplores the firing of rockets from the Gaza Strip against Israeli civilian areas", but doesn't say who is doing the firing.

Unlike the Security Council, resolutions adopted by the assembly are non-binding and there is no veto.

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The General Assembly vote on Wednesday garnered fewer votes in favor than a similar one in December that rejected President Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

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