Security Council mulls mission to protect Palestinians

A resolution needs nine votes in favor and no vetoes by the United States, Britain, France, Russia or China to be adopted.

By REUTERS
May 20, 2018 21:14
2 minute read.
Smoke is seen near the Gaza border.

Smoke is seen near the Gaza border.. (photo credit: ANNA AHRONHEIM)

 
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UNITED NATIONS – The UN Security Council will begin talks on Monday on a Kuwait-drafted resolution that condemns Israeli force against Palestinian civilians and calls for an “international protection mission” to be deployed to the “occupied territories.”

The draft resolution, seen by Reuters on Friday, asks UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to report within 30 days of its adoption on “ways and means for ensuring the safety, protection and well-being of the Palestinian civilian population.”

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The United States is likely to veto the move if it is put to a vote by Kuwait, diplomats said. A resolution needs nine votes in favor and no vetoes by the United States, Britain, France, Russia or China to be adopted.

The push for a resolution comes after the bloodiest day for Palestinians since the 2014 Gaza war (Operation Protective Edge). Dozens of Palestinians were killed last Monday in gunfire and tear gas from Israeli troops on the Gaza border, the Hamas Health Ministry said.

A Hamas official subsequently said that 50 of the 62 persons claimed slain in Monday’s border riots were members of his organization, and Islamic Jihad said another three belonged to it.

Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon dismissed the draft Security Council resolution as a “shameful” proposal “to support Hamas’s war crimes against Israel and the residents of Gaza who are being sent to die for the sake of preserving Hamas’s rule.

“The cynicism and attempts to distort reality have reached a new low. Israel will continue to defend its sovereignty and the security of its citizens against the terror and murderous violence of Hamas,” said Danon.

Danon spoke with ambassadors of Security Council member states at the end of last week, in advance of the discussion regarding the draft resolution. “Kuwait’s dangerous draft resolution only reinforces Hamas’s terror regime that oppresses and threatens the residents of Gaza and the security of Israeli citizens. If the council seeks to protect the residents of Gaza, it must take steps against Hamas’s war crimes and not reward the organization’s cycle of bloodshed.”

The US blocked last Monday a Kuwait-drafted council statement that would have expressed “outrage and sorrow at the killing of Palestinian civilians” and called for an independent and transparent investigation, diplomats said.

Meanwhile, Muslim leaders also called on Friday for an international force to be deployed to protect Palestinians after last week’s clashes on the Gaza border.
Muslim states call for international protection for Palestinians amid Gaza clashes, May 19, 2018 (Reuters)

At a summit in Istanbul convened by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, they also pledged to take “appropriate political [and] economic measures” against countries that followed the United States in moving their Israel embassies to Jerusalem.

Erdogan, who is campaigning for reelection next month, used the summit to verbally attack Israel, comparing the actions of its forces to Nazi Germany’s treatment of Jews.

He also castigated the United States, saying its decision to move its embassy had emboldened Israel to put down the protests at the border with Gaza with excessive force.

The final declaration of the meeting of the 57-member Organization of Islamic Cooperation described the killing of 60 Palestinians as “savage crimes committed by the Israeli forces with the backing of the US administration.”

It said the violence should be put on the agenda of the UN Security Council and General Assembly, and called on the United Nations to investigate the killings.

The summit was attended by Jordan’s King Abdullah.

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