UN Assembly blames Israel for Gaza violence, but not Hamas

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The U.N. General Assembly has approved a Palestinian-backed resolution blaming Israel for violence in Gaza after narrowly rejecting a us demand to add an amendment condemning attacks on Israel by Gaza's Hamas rulers.

The Arab-drafted text deplores Israel's use of "excessive, disproportionate and indiscriminate force" against Palestinian civilians and calls for protection measures for Palestinians in Gaza and the occupied West Bank.

The resolution condemned the "firing of rockets from the Gaza Strip against Israeli civilian areas", which have increased following clashes, and requested the United Nations secretary general submit a written response regarding the safety of the Palestinian civilian population.

Haley expressed optimism, however, about the number of countries that supported the USA amendment to condemn Hamas. A bid by the United States to present an amendment condemning Hamas failed to garner the two-third majority needed for adoption.

Canada's ambassador Marc-André Blanchard spoke - in addition to Haley - in favor of the US amendment before the vote.

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The Palestinians and their supporters are asking an emergency meeting of the U.N. General Assembly to adopt a resolution blaming Israel for recent violence in Gaza - and the U.S.is demanding that Gaza's Hamas rulers be condemned as well.

The European Union's ambassador Joanne Adamson, deputy head of the delegation to the United Nations said "Israeli security forces must refrain from the excessive use of force against unarmed civilians".

Haley said in a statement afterward that "in the face of Hamas terrorists routinely inciting violence. today the United Nations made the morally bankrupt judgment that the recent Gaza violence is all Israel's fault". We need protection for our civilian population. Israel says Hamas has used the protests as cover for attacks on the border fence.

Clashes along Israel's border with Gaza have escalated significantly in recent months, following United States recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital which infuriated Palestinians, who share claims to the city.

The proposal 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 forces fire during recent mass demonstrations.

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"We had more countries on the right side than the wrong side", Haley said.

It also "deplores the firing of rockets from the Gaza Strip against Israeli civilian areas", but doesn't say who is doing the firing. Turkey and Algeria brought the resolution on behalf the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, and Haley criticized members who are quick to denounce Israel but scared to oppose Hamas.

A US official also told Axios that the Trump administration wants to launch a peace plan when the circumstances are "right", and that Kushner and Greenblatt are interested in input from the parties involved.

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

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