By Middle East Affairs
On Wednesday, the United Nations General Assembly condemned Israel for its excessive force of violence against Palestinians in Gaza and requested “international protection mechanism” for Palestine from U.N. chief Antonio Guterres.
The resolution put forward by the General Assembly earned 120 votes in favor, eight against and 45 abstentions. Algeria, Turkey, and Palestine put forward the resolution to the General Assembly after the United Station vetoed a similar resolution in the 15- member U.N. Security Council earlier this month.
The resolution condemned the use of rockets from Gaza into Israeli settlements but did not make a mention of Hamas. While General Assembly resolutions carry no legal actions, they are weighted heavily in international politics.
Before the vote began, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley told the General Assembly “The nature of this resolution clearly demonstrates that politics is driving the day. It is totally one-sided. It makes not one mention of the Hamas terrorists who routinely initiate the violence in Gaza.”
The United States tried but failed to garner enough votes to change the resolution and add a paragraph to condemn the violence by Hamas.
Israel’s U.N. Ambassador Danny Danon spoke before the vote to the General Assembly and said: “By supporting this resolution you are colluding with a terrorist organization, by supporting this resolution you are empowering Hamas.”
Along with Israel and the United Stations, Australia, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Solomon Islands and Togo voted against the resolution.
Since March 30, more than 129 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces by live bullets, rubber bullets, tear gas bombs and air attacks. On May 14, as the United States celebrated the opening of its new embassy in Jerusalem, Israel killed more than 60 Palestinians and injured over 3000.
While the international community has been disgusted by Israel’s terror reign on Palestine, Israel has defended its action and has said that most of the casualties were Hamas militants, a point that is not factually true as the majority of the killed were Palestinian civilians, some of which were journalists, medics, and children. The United States has protected Israel’s right to defend its borders and does not believe that Israel should restrain its use of lethal force.
Palestinians point out that most protestors are unarmed civilians, many are young men that Israel has made a point to attack them in such ways as to cause severe disabilities for the rest of their life.
Palestinian U.N. envoy Riyad Mansour speaking to the General Assembly said, “We need the protection of our civilian population.” He said the resolution was “intended to contribute to a de-escalation of the volatile situation.”
Mansour said, “We cannot remain silent in the face of the most violent crimes and human rights violations being systematically perpetrated against our people.”
The General Assembly also asked a written report from Guterres within 60 days on proposals “on ways and means for ensuring the safety, protection, and well-being of the Palestinian civilian population under Israeli occupation, including … recommendations regarding an international protection mechanism.”
Previously in December, 128 countries voted against President Trump recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and demanded that the U.S. remove its recognition of the holy city as only belonging to Israel.