The United States blocked a United Nations (UN) Security Council statement that called for an investigation into the deaths of at least 15 Palestinians who were rioting at the border fence between Israel and the Gaza Strip over the weekend.
According to AFP, the draft statement, recognized the “the right to peaceful protest” and conveyed “sorrow at the loss of innocent Palestinian lives.”
The statement also “called upon all sides to exercise restraint and prevent a further escalation.”
Kuwait, which is currently one of the 10 non-permanent members of the UN Security Council, presented the statement that was circulated among the Security Council on Friday, the eve of Passover.
Israeli Ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon expressed his displeasure in a formal complaint against the UN Security Council’s scheduling of an emergency session on the first night of Passover.
“The State of Kuwait, with full knowledge that our permanent mission, Israel and Jews everywhere were observing the first night of Passover, hijacked the consultations, forced an open session and invited the Palestinian delegation to present remarks that they had been advised to prepare well in advance,” Danon said.
“Israel was not given the same advance notice and was barred from taking part in the deliberations due to the observance of our religious holiday,” he continued.
“I would like to remind the Council that exploiting procedural rules so that one side can make its case while the other cannot is antithetical to the spirit of the United Nations and is a direct affront to the fundamental principles of honest deliberation.”
Meanwhile, the office of the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres called for an independent investigation into the deaths of the Palestinian rioters
UN spokesman Farhan Haq relayed Guterres’ statement to the media, saying that the secretary-general wanted “an independent and transparent investigation” into the violence.