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ISRAEL has been condemned by the United Nations for use of “excessive force” against unarmed Palestinian protesters in Gaza.
A non-binding resolution was adopted by the UN general assembly which also called for the establishment of “an international protection mechanism” for the occupied territories.
A US amendment to the resolution proposed by its envoy to the UN Nikki Haley seeking to condemn Hamas for launching missile attacks against Israel was defeated.
She branded the resolution “totally one-sided” for failing to mention the Islamist political party which governs Gaza.
Israel’s ambassador to the UN Danny Danon told delegates prior to the vote: “By supporting this resolution you are colluding with a terrorist organisation, you are empowering Hamas.
He accused those who supported the resolution of being “the ammunition for Hamas’s guns … the warheads for its missiles.”
However his Palestinian counterpart Riyad Mansour told those gathered in New York: “We cannot remain silent in the face of the most violent crimes and human rights violations being systematically perpetrated against our people.”
He said the resolution was “intended to contribute to a de-escalation of the volatile situation.”
Delegates voted in favour of the resolution, which also calls for the “protection of the Palestinian civilian population” in Gaza by 120 votes to 8 with 45 abstentions.
Australia, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Solomon Islands and Togo joined Israel and the United States in opposing the resolution.
Israel claimed that many of those shot dead by snipers during the Great Return March protests in April and May were “militants” – however children, medics and journalists were among the unarmed civilians targeted.
More than 120 people were killed and thousands injured during the protests.
The resolution asked UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres to report back on progress within 60 days.
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