US vetoes Security Council resolution critical of Israeli actions at Gaza border

US vetoes Security Council resolution critical of Israeli actions at Gaza border

By Ellen Ratner   
Published
Members of the Security Council discussing before the Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East. June 1, 2018. UN Photo/Loey Felipe
Members of the Security Council discussing before the Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East. June 1, 2018. UN Photo/Loey Felipe Scene prior to the start of the meeting.

US Ambassador Nikki Haley accused the UN of "[siding] with terrorists over Israel" by condemning actions by Israel's defense forces along the Gaza border.

UNITED NATIONS – The U.S. vetoed a Security Council resolution on Friday that condemned violence against Gazans by the Israeli security forces and called on international monitors to protect Palestinian civilians.

That resolution, drafted by Kuwait, was backed by 10 countries on the 15-member council – enough to pass under normal rules of procedure – but the U.S. veto stopped the diplomatic effort in its tracks.

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., Nikki Haley, criticized the Kuwaiti resolution for failing to condemn Hamas for firing rockets into Israel, and she said Hamas, not Israel, deserved blame for the “awful living conditions in Gaza.”

“When the United Nations sides with terrorists over Israel, as the Kuwait resolution does, it only makes a peaceful resolution of this conflict harder to reach,” she said.

Haley tried to turn the tables at the Security Council by offering a competing resolution that blamed Hamas for recent violence at the Israeli-Gaza border, telling countries that, “You either support Hamas or not. This vote will tell the story.”

But Haley’s ultimatum failed to convince any countries to back the U.S. text, which was opposed by three countries, while 11 countries abstained from the vote.

The United Kingdom – which often votes in step with the U.S. – abstained on both resolutions.

U.K. Ambassador Karen Pierce condemned Kuwaits resolution for failing to single out Gaza-based terror groups, but said, “the American text does not adequately reference Israel’s responsibilities and obligations.”

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