Friday, 17 August, 2018

Israeli fire kills 21-year-old Palestinian medic in the Gaza Strip

Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Vassily Nebenzia center and American Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley center left are surrounded by diplomats before a Security Council meeting on the situation between the Israelis and the Palesti US vetoes UN resolution on protecting Palestinians
Faye Gross | 02 June, 2018, 10:57

Demonstrators at Friday's protests waved Kuwaiti flags to thank the Persian Gulf state for blocking a USA bid to condemn Gaza rocket fire at the Security Council earlier this week.

Turkish Presidential Spokesman Ibrahim Kalin on Saturday criticized the US for vetoing a UN Security Council resolution calling for the protection of Palestinians.

A draft resolution requires nine votes to be adopted in the 15-member council and no veto from the five permanent members - Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States. There were four abstentions including Britain.

The draft resolution expresses "grave concern" at the escalation of violence and tensions and the deteriorating situation in the Palestinian territories, especially since the start of a series of mass protests at the Gaza border on March 30.

The draft resolution requests a report from Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on a possible "international protection mechanism".

The proposed resolution "is morally bankrupt and would only serve to undermine ongoing efforts toward peace between the Israelis and Palestinians", Haley said in a statement on Thursday.

One hundred Palestinians were said to be injured - forty of them from live fire - among the some thousand participants, in what was nevertheless a greatly muted Friday demonstration compared with those of recent months.

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"It is not surprising that the USA administration vetoed the resolution for the protection of the Palestinian people", Kalin said on Twitter.

The UN Security Council has been paralysed in the face of the recent violence against protesters in Gaza, despite the fact that a number of emergency meetings have been held.

It would be the second time that Haley has resorted to U.S. veto power to block a United Nations measure on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

More than 120 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces along the fence that divides Israel from Gaza since the protests erupted in March.

During a second vote, the United States failed to win support for its own rival measure calling on Palestinian militants to halt their protests in Gaza. Tuesday's torrent of rockets and mortars prompted the U.S. to call for Wednesday's meeting, where UN Mideast envoy Nikolay Mladenov said the latest escalation in Gaza was a warning of "how close to the brink of war we are every day".

Israel was on high alert following this week's mortar attacks that escalated on Tuesday night, when more than a 100 rockets and mortar grenades were fired from Gaza to Israel, which Hamas and Islamic Jihad took responsibility for later.

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