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Kuwait circulates draft resolution aiming to protect Palestinian civilians

By AFP - May 30,2018 - Last updated at May 30,2018

Palestinian mourners carry the body of 23-year-old Naji Ghonaim during his funeral in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on Tuesday (AFP photo)

UNITED NATIONS/RAMALLAH — Kuwait on Tuesday circulated the watered-down draft UN Security Council resolution on setting up an international protection mission for the Palestinians in a bid to win European support in a vote expected this week, diplomats said.

The council is expected to vote this week on the Kuwait-drafted proposal calling for "the consideration of measures to guarantee the safety and protection of the Palestinian civilian population" in the Palestinian territories and the Gaza Strip, according to the draft obtained by AFP.

Diplomats however expect the United States to resort to its veto power to block that measure.

Still, Kuwait, a non-permanent council member that represents Arab countries, is hoping to win a high number of votes in favour of its proposal to highlight Washington's isolation on the Israeli-Palestinian issue.

The revised draft drops an outright demand for an international protection mission and instead requests that UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres present recommendations.

The new text "calls for the consideration of measures to guarantee the safety and protection of the Palestinian civilian population" in the occupied Palestinian territories and the Gaza Strip, according to the draft obtained by AFP.

It requests that Guterres present a report within 60 days on proposals for the protection of Palestinian civilians including the establishment of an international mission.

France and Britain, two veto-wielding council members, have complained that the draft resolution lacked details on the scope and objective of the proposed protection mission, diplomats said.

The United States meanwhile maintained that the measure was biased against Israel during two expert-level meetings held last week, according to diplomatic sources.

Kuwait put forward the draft resolution ten days ago after Israeli occupation forces killed dozens of Palestinians during protests on the Gaza border as the United States opened its controversial new embassy in occupied Jerusalem.

On Wednesday, a Palestinian shot by Israeli occupation forces during protests on the Gaza border died of his wounds, the Palestinian health ministry said.

Naji Ghonaim, 23, was wounded several days ago near Rafah in southern Gaza, the ministry said, without giving a specific date.

He was later transferred to Jerusalem for treatment but died on Wednesday morning, the Ramallah-based ministry said in a statement.

Gaza's Hamas-run health ministry also confirmed Ghonaim's death.

At least 122 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli occupation forces since demonstrations began on March 30 calling for the right of return of hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees who were forcibly displaced amid violence surrounding the creation of Israel. 

No Israelis have been killed.

Negotiations on Kuwait’s draft resolution have been tough-going with the Europeans and Africans pressing for more information on the proposed protection mission, according to diplomats. 

Diplomats have said the Palestinians may turn to the UN General Assembly if the draft resolution on protection fails to win Security Council backing.

The council is due to meet on Wednesday at the request of the United States to discuss Palestinian rocket firings on Israel from Gaza.

The rocket and mortar firings from the Gaza Strip were claimed by Hamas and Islamic Jihad, prompting Israel to respond with air strikes on bases of the Palestinian resistance groups.

It was the worst flareup since the 2014 war waged by Israel in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.

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Comments

TO MANY DRAFTS, ATTEMPTED RESOLUTIONS BUT GOES NO WHERE SO ITS TIME TO CHANGE THE DIALAGUE INTO THE RECOGNITION OF THE PALESTINIAN STATE AND NOT AUTHORITY. FORGET ALL ABOUT THE UN AND ITS KANGROO COURT OF THE SECURITY OR THE INSECURITY COUNCIL. I THINK THAT THIS CAT AND MOUCE GAME HAS BEEN GOING ON FOR VERY LONG TIME. EVERY ONE IS SICK OF THIS UNFORTUNATE AFFAIR AND STRATIFIED JUSTICE.

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