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File photo-- Palestinian medics and protesters evacuate a wounded youth near the Gaza Strip’s border with Israel, during a protest east of Khan Younis, in the Gaza Strip, Friday, June 8, 2018.

UN Assembly blames Israel for Gaza violence
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Thu, June 14, 2018 10:33

New York, UN, June 14, 2018 (News Wires)-- The United Nations has overwhelmingly passed a resolution condemning Israel’s  “use of any excessive, disproportionate and indiscriminate force" against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

Scores have died and thousands have been injured as Israeli troops have responded with live fire to protesters near a border fence.

By a vote of 120 to 8, the United Nations approved a resolution decrying the “use of live ammunition against civilian protesters, including children, as well as medical personnel and journalists” and underscoring its “grave concern at the loss of innocent lives”.

The measure also called for the creation of a mechanism to ensure the “protection of the Palestinian civilian population” and urged Israel to lift its economic blockade on an area ruled by Hamas.

In the face of persistent international criticism, the United States and Israel have accused detractors of ignoring Hamas’s role in inciting violence by firing rockets into Israel and encouraging demonstrators to rush the border.

After the UN voted down an American-authored amendment faulting Hamas, the final resolution made no mention of the designated terrorist group. It did deplore “the firing of rockets from the Gaza Strip against Israeli civilian areas”.

In a statement after the vote, America’s ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley released a statement criticising the UN for arriving at “the morally bankrupt judgment that the recent Gaza violence is all Israel’s fault”.

“It is no wonder that no one takes the UN seriously as a force for Middle East peace”, Ms Haley said, adding that “peace will only be achieved when realities are recognised, including Israel’s legitimate security interests, and the need to end Hamas’ terrorism”.

The office of Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised Ms Haley for a “strong statement today exposing the hypocrisy of the UN’s bias against Israel.

The contours of the debate, with Israel and America aligned in opposition to a majority of the international community, were familiar.

Donald Trump’s controversial decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move the US embassy generated an international outcry and was blasted in a separate UN resolution.

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