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

Hundreds of Palestinians stage a protest in Ramallah against sanctions imposed by the Palestinian Authority on the Gaza Strip

Hundreds of Palestinians stage a protest in Ramallah against sanctions imposed by the Palestinian Authority on the Gaza Strip

It also seeks recommendations from UN Secretary-General Antonio Gutterese on ensuring protection for Palestinian civilians, including an "international protection mechanism".

It further called "for the consideration of measures to guarantee the safety and protection of the Palestinian civilian population", pointing particularly to Gaza, where more than 127 Palestinians have been killed and thousands more wounded by Israeli military fire during recent mass demonstrations. No Israelis have died.

The General Assembly adopted a resolution with 120 votes in favor, eight against and 45 abstentions.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, who introduced the amendment to blame Hamas, criticized the UNGA for focusing on violence in Israel instead of in Nicaragua, Yemen or Myanmar.

Addressing the assembly, US Ambassador Nikki Haley dismissed the resolution as biased against Israel and accused Arab countries of trying to score political points at home by seeking to condemn Israel at the United Nations.

U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman is slated to arrive in Washington, D.C., this week, for regular meetings and to "catch up" with Kushner and Greenblatt before the head to the Middle East, the official said.

"I have a simple message for those who support this resolution". Human Rights Watch said this week that Israel's use of lethal force against Palestinian demonstrators in the Gaza Strip in recent weeks may constitute war crimes.

The Palestinians and their supporters chose to go to the 193-member assembly, where there are no vetoes, after the US vetoed virtually the same resolution in the Security Council on June 1.

While Security Council resolutions are legally binding, General Assembly resolutions are not, although assembly spokesman Brenden Varma stressed Wednesday that they do reflect "political will" as well as worldwide opinion.

As Miroslav Lajčák, the president of the UN General Assembly, attempted to call a vote on the American amendment, the Algerians, backed by Cuba, the State of Palestine and Venezuela among others, invoked a procedural rule to prevent the vote from taking place at all.

These could range from setting up an observer mission to a full-blown peacekeeping force, but action on any option would require backing from the Security Council, where the United States has veto power.

"We need action. We need protection for our civilian population".

"We are asking for a simple thing", Mansour told the assembly.

The resolution put forward by Turkey and Algeria rejects United States call to condemn Hamas for attacks on Israel.

Taking the podium, Israeli Ambassador Danny Danon assailed the measure as an "attempt to take away our basic right to self-defense". A United States amendment to condemn Hamas did not get enough support.

Algerian Ambassador Sabri Boukadoum, representing Arab nations, first sought to block a vote on the USA amendment, saying it wasn't relevant to the resolution. It needed a two-thirds majority to pass, however, so it was not included in the final resolution.

Latest News