The U.N. General Assembly on Wednesday overwhelmingly voted to condemn Israel for using “excessive force” against the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip in recent weeks.
The resolution, “Protection of the Palestinian civilian population,” which was proposed by Algeria and Turkey, was passed with 120 “yes” votes to eight “no” votes, and 45 abstentions. A similar resolution was rejected by the U.N. Security Council earlier this month after a U.S. veto.
According to the language of the resolution, it condemned the “excessive, disproportionate and indiscriminate force by the Israeli forces against Palestinian civilians,” while calling on U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres to submit a report within 60 days on his proposals for “ensuring the safety, protection and well-being of the Palestinians.”
Prior to the resolution’s adoption, the United States attempted to add an amendment condemning Hamas. However, that amendment, which was supported by a slim majority of countries, 62-58, was ultimately rejected on procedural grounds after failing to achieve a two-thirds majority.
“The nature of this resolution clearly demonstrates that politics is driving the day. It is totally one-sided. It makes not one mention of the Hamas terrorists who routinely initiate the violence in Gaza,” U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley told the U.N. body.
In his address prior to the vote, Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon harshly criticized the countries supporting the resolution.
“The resolution before you today does not protect innocent Palestinians. It does not protect innocent Israelis. It does not condemn, does not even mention, Hamas the internationally recognized terrorist organization directly responsible the violence in our region,” he said. “By supporting this resolution, you are colluding with a terrorist organization. By supporting this resolution, you are empowering Hamas.”
Turning to the sponsors and supporters of the resolution, Ambassador Danon said: “I have a simple message for those who support this resolution. You are the ammunition for Hamas’s guns; you are the warheads for its missiles.”
Following the vote, Haley issued a statement saying that the United Nations “made the morally bankrupt judgement that the recent Gaza violence is all Israel’s fault.”
Nevertheless, Haley did praise the countries that supported her amendment to address Hamas’s role in the Gaza violence, saying that the “common practice of turning a blind eye to the U.N.’s anti-Israel bias is changing.”
“We had more countries on the right side than the wrong side,” she said.
In a statement issued before the final vote, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Office said that it appreciates the Trump administration’s “steadfast support for Israel at the United Nations.”
“The U.N.’s incessant focus on Israel not only brings shame to the organization. It also draws attention away from so many other pressing issues that demand the attention of the international community,” the statement said.
Netanyahu also slammed Hamas, saying it is responsible for the “terrible” situation there, as well as for the loss of life and suffering in recent weeks.
“Rather than improve the lives of the people of Gaza,” he said, “Hamas is using the civilian Palestinian population as human shields in its unremitting terror war against Israel.”