U.S. vetoes United Nations resolution offering 'protection' for Palestinians

A Palestinian protester holds a tear gas canister in his mouth during a demonstration along the border with Israel east of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza strip

U.S. vetoes United Nations resolution offering 'protection' for Palestinians

Earlier this week - at an emergency session of the Security Council called by the USA to condemn rockets fired by Palestinian terrorists in Gaza against Israel - Haley remarked that the Palestinians did not require protection from an external predator, but from a Hamas leadership that cynically manipulates the civilian population into violence.

More than 120 Palestinians have been killed at the border between Gaza and Israel since protests began in March. Haley criticised the proposal for making no mention of Hamas, saying that "the text criticises [the] excessive and indiscriminate use of force by Israeli forces against Palestinian civilians in Gaza, when in fact it is Hamas that fired 70 rockets indiscriminately into Israeli towns this week". No Israelis have been killed.

US Ambassador Nikki Haley declared that "it is now completely clear that the United Nations is hopelessly biased against Israel", saying council members were "willing to blame Israel, but unwilling to blame Hamas".

The Security Council was due to vote on the draft proposal yesterday evening, but diplomats announced that it would be delayed.

Ten of the 15 council members voted in favor of the draft, and four abstained.

Kuwaiti Ambassador Mansour Al-Otaibi said the council's lack of action "will increase the sentiments of despair among the Palestinians".

The resolution drafted by Kuwait sought to condemn what it called the disproportionate use of force by Israel, including the firing of live ammunition by its forces on Palestinian protesters last month near the border with Gaza.

Washington's decision quickly garnered praise from Israel. Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon wrote on Twitter: "We recognize the United States, and all who did not support this resolution, for their moral clarity".

An American resolution condemning Hamas failed to win support, as 11 countries abstained and Russian Federation opposed it.

Kuwait is a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council and hopes to win a high number of votes in favour of its proposal, according to Al Jazeera.

The council has been deadlocked over how to respond to the recent violence, even as United Nations envoy Nickolay Mladenov warned this week that Gaza was "close to the brink of war".

Israel and Hamas have fought three wars since the Islamic group seized control of Gaza in 2007.

US ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said Thursday that her country would veto the Kuwaiti draft, blaming it as "a grossly one-sided approach that is morally bankrupt and would only serve to undermine ongoing efforts toward peace between the Israelis and Palestinians".

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