UN adopts text urging greater protection for Palestinians

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(New York) –

UN adopts text urging greater protection for Palestinians

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.

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.”