Photo: AP
UN General Assembly
Photo: AP
Palestinians turn to General Assembly to protect civilians
Palestinian UN Ambassador Riyad Mansour asks to adopt a resolution which denounces Israel's 'excessive use of force' in Gaza; he says the Palestinians are 'mobilizing all of our efforts to receive the largest number of votes possible to support us'; Mansour says UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres 'should utilize all tools available to him to help in any possible way.'

The Palestinians and their supporters asked the UN General Assembly on Friday to hold an emergency meeting to adopt a resolution that would deplore Israel's "excessive use of force," particularly in Gaza, and seek recommendations to ensure the protection of Palestinian civilians.



The move follows the US veto of a Kuwait-sponsored resolution in the Security Council on June 1 which US Ambassador Nikki Haley called "grossly one-sided" for deploring the use of force by Israel while not mentioning Hamas which rules Gaza.


Palestinian UN Ambassador Riyad Mansour  (Photo: Reuters)
Palestinian UN Ambassador Riyad Mansour (Photo: Reuters)


Palestinian UN Ambassador Riyad Mansour told reporters Friday that the Kuwaiti resolution was "extremely balanced," and he said almost the same text would be put to a vote in the General Assembly.


There are no vetoes in the 193-member world body, but while Security Council resolutions are legally binding, General Assembly resolutions are not.


Mansour and supporters including representatives of the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation met with General Assembly President Miroslav Lajcak Friday afternoon in order to officially request a meeting to vote on the resolution.


The Palestinian ambassador said he believes Lajcak will set a date "very soon." He said "most likely" it will be next Wednesday afternoon.


UN General Assembly  (Photo: Reuters)
UN General Assembly (Photo: Reuters)


"We are mobilizing all of our efforts with as many as we can reach from groups and member states to receive the largest number of votes possible to support us," Mansour said.


Israel's Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon said, "Unfortunately, instead of denouncing Hamas's terrorists, there are countries that seek to fulfill their internal political needs by harming the State of Israel in the UN."


"We are proud to defend Israel's civilians in any forum in which our enemies attempt to defame us," Danon added.


The UN meeting took place as thousands of Palestinians protested near the Gaza border fence Friday. Israeli troops fired live rounds and tear gas and Gaza health officials said at least four demonstrators were killed, including a teenage boy, with over 600 wounded— which Mansour condemned "in the strongest terms" calling the Israelis "trigger-happy."


Naksa Day riots  (Photo: Reuters)
Naksa Day riots (Photo: Reuters)


"What happened today adds to our argument and to the urgency of providing international protection" for Palestinian civilians, he said.


Mansour said the resolution to be put to the General Assembly, like the Kuwaiti resolution, will ask UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to make proposals within 60 days "on ways and means for ensuring the safety, protection and well-being of the Palestinian civilian population under Israeli occupation."


Standing with half a dozen Arab and Islamic supporters, he said Guterres "should utilize all the tools available to him in the (UN) Secretariat and on the ground, and with all of the collective mind of all of us who are ready and willing to help in any possible way."


"Our intention and our desire are to find practical ways supported by the international community to provide protection for our civilian population," Mansour stressed.


Gaza border riots  (Photo: EPA)
Gaza border riots (Photo: EPA)


The resolution expected to be put to a vote also demands that Israel refrain from the use of excessive force and "deplores the firing of rockets from the Gaza Strip against Israeli civilian areas." It calls for an immediate cease-fire.


The Palestinians are also strongly backing an investigation into events in Gaza by the Geneva-based Human Rights Council and a separate General Assembly investigation, Mansour said.


The Palestinians and their supporters are following the same route they took last December after the United States vetoed a Security Council resolution calling on President Donald Trump to renounce his recognition of Israel as Jerusalem's capital.


They went to the General Assembly which largely ignored Trump's threats to cut off aid to any country that went against the United States and voted 128-9 to denounce the US president's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital and declare it "null and void."



פרסום ראשון: 06.09.18, 09:55
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