Diplomacy

U.S. Blocks Security Council Resolution Condemning Israel over Violent Hamas Protests

The United States on Saturday blocked a draft United Nations Security Council statement expressing “grave concern” over Israel’s handling of the Hamas-led “March of Return” along the border with Gaza and calling for an “independent and transparent investigation” into the violence.

The resolution, tabled by Kuwait which represents the Arab states in the council, reaffirmed “the right to peaceful protest” and expressed “sorrow at the loss of innocent Palestinian lives.” It also called “for respect for international human rights law and international humanitarian law, including protection of civilians,” Agence France-Presse reported.

The Israeli military has so far identified ten of the fifteen Palestinians killed as members of terrorist organizations.

The draft statement was circulated to the council on Friday, but on Saturday the United States raised objections and said it would veto the resolution. The United Kingdom reportedly also blocked the passing of the statement.

The Palestinian Authority (PA) on Saturday charged that the U.S. and U.K. were “accomplices in the horrific massacre committed by the Israeli occupation army against our defenseless people,” for preventing Arab efforts to condemn Israel at the U.N.

On Sunday, the PA launched a personal attack on the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., Nikki Haley, calling her an “ambassador of animosity, hatred and dark ideology,” holding her responsible for the failure of the resolution.

“The US ambassador insists on taking positions in support of the occupation and in defense of its crimes and violations,” said a statement issued by the PA Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Ramallah. Blaming Haley for adopting a “barefaced hostile position” against the Palestinians, the ministry attacked the ambassador’s “blind bias in favor of Israel and its crimes.”

The latest attack on Haley is another sign of the continued rejection by Palestinian leadership of any criticism from the U.S., especially of the PA’s continued support of terror. It also follows several personal attacks by PA officials against members of the U.S. administration.

PA President Mahmoud Abbas recently called the U.S. envoy to Israel, David Friedman, a “son of a dog” and a “settler.” Earlier this year, top Palestinian diplomat Saeb Erekat in an interview with a Palestinian news website, advised Haley to “shut up.”

[Photo: UN WebTV ]