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United Nations readies for vote to condemn Israel amid U.S. opposition

United Nations readies for vote to condemn Israel amid U.S. opposition

"We need protection of our civilian population", Palestinian UN 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". "It is a call to the secretary-general to come up with his recommendations on how to protect civilians from further attack".

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.

"The global community needs to rip up the old playbook, where Israel conducts investigations that mainly whitewash the conduct of its troops and the U.S. blocks worldwide accountability with its Security Council veto, and instead impose real costs for such blatant disregard for Palestinian lives", said Sarah Leah Whitson, the NGO's Middle East director. U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley called that resolution "grossly one-sided" for blaming Israel while not mentioning Gaza's Hamas rulers.

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

"But the common practice of turning a blind eye to the U.N.'s anti-Israel bias is changing", she said.

In the General Assembly, the confrontation over Gaza, reflecting decades-old divisions between Israel and the Palestinians, played out with a few new twists.

Since the protests began on March 30, Israeli forces have killed 124 Palestinian and wounded more than 3,800 others.

Israel's ambassador accused "anti-Israel elements" of blocking condemnation of Hamas. "We want our civilian population to be protected".

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USA ally Saudi Arabia remains OPEC's most powerful member - with enough production capacity to manipulate global supplies. OPEC will meet on June 22-23 to discuss the potential of reducing its output cuts now that the market is more in balance.

Turkey's United Nations ambassador, Feridun Siniroglu, told the assembly shortly before votes were cast the "draft resolution is not about taking sides". "Is that a crime to ask for?" he said.

Arab and Islamic nations then made a decision to seek a vote on virtually the identical resolution at Wednesday's emergency meeting of the 193-member General Assembly, where there are no vetoes.

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

The White House peace team did not request a sit-down with the Palestinians, who have refused to meet since Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and moved the USA embassy there.

The resolution, adopted at an emergency special session yesterday, also deplores any use of "excessive, disproportionate and indiscriminate" force by the Israeli military against Palestinian civilians, particularly in the Gaza Strip.

Unlike the Security Council, resolutions adopted by the assembly are non-binding and there is no veto.

It also "deplores the firing of rockets from the Gaza Strip against Israeli civilian areas", but doesn't say who is doing the firing.


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