Israel's use of lethal force 'could amount to war crime'

UN Assembly approves resolution blaming Israel for Gaza violence | TheHill

The US amendment condemning Hamas received 62 votes in favor, with 58 against and 42 abstentions.

Earlier, the Palestinian UN ambassador urged the General Assembly to adopt a resolution to address escalating violence in Gaza and "the crisis" of protecting civilians following the killing of more than 120 Palestinians by Israeli military.

It was adopted with 120 votes in favor and eight votes against, with 45 abstentions. "It makes not one mention of the Hamas terrorists who routinely initiate the violence in Gaza", Haley said to the 193-member General Assembly before the vote.

Netanyahu said that Instead of improving the lives of Gaza residents, "Hamas uses the Palestinian population as a human shield in the ongoing war of terror against Israel".

"We need protection of our civilian population", Palestinian U.N. envoy Riyad Mansour told the General Assembly before the vote, adding that the resolution was "intended to contribute to a de-escalation of the volatile situation".

"The worldwide community needs to rip up the old playbook, where Israel conducts investigations that mainly whitewash the conduct of its troops and the United States blocks global accountability with its Security Council Veto, and instead impose real costs for such blatant disregard for Palestinian lives".

Palestinian Ambassador Riyad Mansour said Tuesday night that he is lobbying 191 member states - all but the USA and Israel - and expects to win.

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A USA bid to condemn Hamas, a Palestinian fundamentalist group, for attacks on Israel also received a majority vote in favor - 62-58 with 42 abstaining - but the president of the General Assembly rejected it because it didn't have the required two-thirds majority to pass. It also condemns the use of force by Israeli forces against Palestinian civilians, and calls for Israel to open "access into and out of the Gaza Strip". He said he will discuss the Gaza situation with U.S. envoys Jared Kushner, Jason Greenblatt and David Friedman when they arrive in Israel next week to discuss the "ways to promote peace between Israel and the Palestinians and between Israel and the Arab world in general".

"But the common practice of turning a blind eye to the U.N.'s anti-Israel bias is changing", she said. The largest number of deaths occurred on May 14, the day the United States moved its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.

"We can not remain silent in the face of the most violent crimes and human rights violations being systematically perpetrated against our people", Mansour said. Unlike the Security Council resolutions, those adopted in the General Assembly are non-binding.

U.S. Ambassador Nikki HaleyNimrata (Nikki) HaleyWhat you need to know about Tuesday's elections South Carolina Gov. McMaster heads to runoff What to watch in Tuesday's primary elections MORE voted against the motion, and sharply denounced the vote as "morally bankrupt" in a statement.

The draft resolution proposed by Arab and Islamic countries deplores "any excessive use of force" by Israeli forces, particularly in Gaza, and demands that Israel "refrain from such actions".

Australia, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Solomon Islands and Togo joined Israel and the United States in voting against the resolution. He warned ambassadors that by supporting the resolution "you are empowering Hamas".

In apparent frustration, Haley said "for some, attacking Israel is their favorite political sport".

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