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UN votes by strong majority to condemn Israel over Gaza violence

By Agencies - Jun 14,2018 - Last updated at Jun 14,2018

Palestinian Ambassador to the United Nations Riyad Mansour applauds following the adoption of a draft resolution by the United Nations General Assembly to deplore the use of excessive force by Israeli forces against Palestinian civilians at UN headquarters in New York on Wednesday (Reuters photo)

United Nations — The UN General Assembly on Wednesday adopted by a strong majority of 120 countries an Arab-backed resolution condemning Israel for Palestinian deaths in Gaza and rejected a US bid to put the blame on Hamas.

The resolution was adopted by a vote of 120 to 8 with 45 abstentions in the 193-nation assembly. 

A bid by the United States to present an amendment condemning Hamas failed to garner the two-third majority needed for adoption.

The General Assembly text condemned the firing of rockets from Gaza into Israeli civilian areas, but did not mention Hamas, the Islamist group that controls Gaza. General Assembly resolutions are not legally binding but carry political weight.

“The nature of this resolution clearly demonstrates that politics is driving the day. It is totally one-sided. It makes not one mention of the Hamas terrorists who routinely initiate the violence in Gaza,” US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley told the General Assembly before the vote. 

The United States failed in a bid to amend the resolution with a paragraph that would have condemned violence by Hamas.

At least 129 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire during protests near the border with Gaza that began at the end of March. No Israelis have died.

The Arab-drafted text deplores Israel’s use of “excessive, disproportionate and indiscriminate force” against Palestinian civilians and calls for protection measures for Palestinians in Gaza and the occupied West Bank.

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