Rival UN Security Council proposals on Gaza both fail

Leroy Wright
June 2, 2018

The United States has backed Israel completely on the Gaza issue.

The draft called for "the consideration of measures to guarantee the safety and protection of the Palestinian civilian population in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in the Gaza Strip".

An exchange of fire on Tuesday and into the early hours of Wednesday began with a barrage of rocket and mortars into Israel from Gaza, prompting Israel to respond with strikes on 65 sites in the Gaza Strip.

Ethiopia, The Netherlands and Poland - all non-permanent members - also abstained on the vote, while Bolivia, Equatorial Guinea, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Peru and Sweden all voted in favor.

"It is a grossly one-sided approach that is morally bankrupt and would only serve to undermine ongoing efforts toward peace between the Israelis and Palestinians", Haley said in a statement Thursday evening.

Ms Haley said during a Security Council meeting: "The Palestinian people deserve a better life that can only happen if we acknowledge and reject the terrorist actions of Hamas".

"This session was another missed opportunity for this council", French Ambassador Francois Delattre said, deploring an "increasingly deafening silence" from the United Nations on the Israeli-Palestinian crisis.

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More than 120 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces along the fence that divides Israel from Gaza since the protests erupted in March.

Diplomats said before the vote that the Palestinians may turn to the UN General Assembly to win support for the measure if the vote failed at the security council as expected.

As the United States has veto power as a permanent member of the Security Council, the draft failed to be adopted. It was the largest flare-up for violence between the sides since a 2014 war. Tuesday's torrent of rockets and mortars prompted the USA to call for Wednesday's meeting, where UN Mideast envoy Nikolay Mladenov said the latest escalation in Gaza was a warning of "how close to the brink of war we are every day". Israel accuses Hamas, with which it has fought three wars since 2008, of seeking to use the protests as cover to carry out violence.

The Security Council has been deeply divided and paralyzed over dealing with the decades-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the burst of violence in Gaza.

According to Qudra, Najjar was a volunteer with the ministry, wearing the white uniform of a medic when she was shot in the chest.

The army said it was investigating the report, noting that "thousands of rioters" had gathered at five locations along the border, "burning tires adjacent to the security fence and attempting to damage security infrastructure".

The violent demonstrations were initially slated to end by May 15, when the Palestinians mark Nakba Day commemorating the displacement that followed Israel's Independence War in 1948.

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