120 countries blame Israel for 'excessive' force against Palestinians

Rip up old playbook’ & probe IDF actions in Gaza for war crimes – Human Rights Watch

Ibraheem Abu Mustafa Reuters

Palestine's United Nations ambassador had called for the emergency meeting where he urged the General Assembly to adopt a resolution to address escalating violence in Gaza and "the crisis" of protecting civilians following the killing of more than 120 Palestinians by Israeli forces.

Wednesday's assembly meeting reflected the deep divisions that persist over the decades-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We need protection for our civilian population.

She said the US will seek an amendment condemning Hamas for firing rockets into Israel.

"The UN bias against Israel runs very deep, but the fact that the American amendment against Hamas won a voting plurality in the UN General Assembly shows that times are changing", an official at the U.S. mission to the UN told The Algemeiner after the vote.

Turkey's Ambassador Feridun Hadi Sinirlioglu defended the resolution, saying it was "about taking sides with worldwide law" and showing the Palestinians that the world "does care about their suffering".

The dramatic three hour debate ended on Wednesday evening with resounding applause for the Palestinians as a resolution that censured Israeli actions in Gaza passed by 120-8, with 45 abstentions.

The US is angrily condemning the resolution, with Nikki Haley declaring the resolution "morally bankrupt". "What are you afraid of to vote on this amendment?"

US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley speaks in favor of an amendment condemning Hamas during a General Assembly debate. Tel Aviv continues to insist that Hamas is to blame for instigating and orchestrating the unrest, while Israel is within its full rights to protect its borders, using all means necessary.

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"The worldwide community needs to rip up the old playbook, where Israel conducts investigations that mainly whitewash the conduct of its troops and the U.S. blocks global accountability with its Security Council Veto, and instead impose real costs for such blatant disregard for Palestinian lives".

Mansour stressed: "We need action. Is that a crime to ask for?" he said.

The resolution stated it "deplores the use of any excessive, disproportionate and indiscriminate force by the Israeli forces against Palestinian civilians in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and particularly in the Gaza Strip", citing Israel's use of live ammunition against protesters and the deaths of a journalist and medical personnel.

"We had more countries on the right side than the wrong side", Haley said. It "deplores the firing of rockets from the Gaza Strip against Israeli civilian areas", but doesn't say who is doing the firing.

Haley had argued that the amendment proposed by the U.S. Turkey and Algeria brought the resolution on behalf the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, and Haley criticized members who are quick to denounce Israel but scared to oppose Hamas.

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

In December 128 countries defied President Donald Trump and voted in favor of a U.N. General Assembly resolution calling for the United States to drop its recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

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