Sunday 18 November 2018
 
»
 
»
Story

UN adopts text urging greater protection for Palestinians

UNITED NATIONS, June 14, 2018

In an emergency meeting on Wednesday, the United Nations General Assembly adopted an Arab-sponsored resolution calling for greater protection for Palestinians, and deploring any use of "excessive, disproportionate and indiscriminate" force by the Israeli military against Palestinian civilians, particularly in Gaza.

The emergency session of the 193-member Assembly, came about following weeks of violence along the border of the Gaza Strip – the Palestinian enclave blockaded by Israel – where hundreds of thousands of Palestinians participated in "The Great March of Return" protests, beginning at the end of March, reported state news agency Wam.

More than 120 Palestinian civilians were reportedly killed by Israeli forces while participating in the protests against Israel’s years-long blockade.

The resolution was adopted by a vote of 120 in favour, 8 against, with 45 abstentions.

Assembly President Miroslav Lajcak convened the meeting, following a formal request from Algeria and Turkey, in their respective capacities as Chair of the Arab Group and Chair of the Summit of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.

Unlike a resolution on Palestinian civilian protection that was vetoed by the US in the UN Security Council on 1st June, Wednesday’s identical resolution in the Assembly was not subject to the same rules as exist in the Council.

Introducing the amendment before voting, the US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, said that "the nature of this resolution clearly demonstrates that politics is driving the day."

"It is totally one-sided. It makes not one mention of Hamas, who routinely initiates violence in Gaza. Such one-sided resolutions at the UN do nothing to advance peace between Israel and the Palestinians," she said.

Also prior to voting, the Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine to the UN, Riyad Mansour, said that "our decision to approach to the Assembly was prompted by the Security Council’s failure to act due to the veto cast on 1st June by a permanent member."

"We therefore firmly reject the bad-faith attempt to insert an amendment that would radically unbalance the text and shift the Assembly's focus away from the core objective of protecting civilians and upholding international law," he said.

The text adopted "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, including the use of live ammunition against civilian protesters, including children, as well as medical personnel and journalists, and expresses its grave concern at the loss of innocent lives."

It also "demands that Israel, the occupying Power, refrain from such actions and fully abide by its legal obligations and responsibilities" under the fourth Geneva Convention on protecting civilians in times of war, said the Wam report.

It also requests that the Secretary-General, within 60 days, present his "proposals on ways and means for ensuring the safety, protection and well-being of the Palestinian civilian population under Israeli occupation, including "recommendations regarding an international protection mechanism," it added.




Tags: UN | Palestinians | Arab resolution | Israeli force |

calendarCalendar of Events

Ads