US Blocks UN Security Council Statement On Israel Violence In Gaza

The United States has blocked a UN Security Council statement on Israel’s use of deadly force against Palestinians commemorating Land Day in Gaza.

Kuwait, which represents Arab countries on the council, presented the proposed statement, which called for an “independent and transparent investigation” of the violence.

Israeli troops killed sixteen Palestinians on Friday as 30,000 Gazans staged protests along Gaza-Israeli border as part of a series of mass protests slated to continue for weeks. More than 1,400 others sustained injuries.

On Saturday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised Israeli troops for killing the Palestinians and claimed their actions were aimed at guarding Israel.

Meanwhile, human rights organization Amnesty International has condemned the Tel Aviv regime’s policies of land confiscation and dispossession, calling on Israeli authorities to stop them.

The Britain-based organization, in a post published on its official Twitter page on Friday, stated Israel’s policies of land theft exacerbate the sufferings of the Palestinian nation and deprive them of their basic rights.

The draft council statement also expressed “grave concern at the situation at the border.” And it reaffirmed “the right to peaceful protest” and expressed the council’s “sorrow at the loss of innocent Palestinian lives.”

The statement was issued on Friday when at least 17 Palestinians lost their lives and more than 1,400 others sustained injuries when Israeli military forces opened fire on thousands of protesters who had flocked to a sit-in near the Gaza border.

The Israeli military on Saturday night identified 10 of the 16 people reported killed during violent protests along the Gaza security fence as members of Palestinian terrorist groups and published a list of their names and positions in the organizations.

The draft statement was circulated to the council on Friday, but on Saturday the United States raised objections and said it did not support its adoption, a Security Council diplomat said.

The proposed statement also called “for respect for international human rights law and international humanitarian law, including protection of civilians.”

Council members “called upon all sides to exercise restraint and prevent a further escalation,” the draft said. The proposed statement stressed the need to promote peace between Israel and the Palestinians based on a two-state solution.

The Palestinian Authority on Saturday blamed the US and Britain for obstructing the Palestinian and Arab effort to persuade the Security Council to issue a resolution blasting Israel for the 16 Palestinian fatalities.

Yusef al Mahmoud, the spokesperson for the PA government in Ramallah, said that Washington and London’s opposition to a resolution condemning Israel “turns them into accomplices in the horrific massacre committed by the Israeli occupation army against our defenceless people.”

Mahmoud accused the US and Britain of displaying “bias in favour of oppression and suppression.” He claimed that the Friday protests were “peaceful marches and demonstrations” to mark the 42nd anniversary of Land Day.

The Israeli government alone, he charged, was “directly responsible for this dreadful massacre, which resulted in 16 martyrs and hundreds of wounded.”

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