US to veto Security Council draft resolution on protecting Palestinians


(JTA) — The United States said it would veto a U.N. draft resolution calling for the protection of Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank.

Ambassador Nikki Haley said the United States will “unquestionably veto” the draft resolution, which Kuwait has put forward on behalf of other Arab countries, in the Security Council vote scheduled for Friday.

Haley described the text as a “grossly one-sided approach that is morally bankrupt and would only serve to undermine ongoing efforts toward peace between the Israelis and Palestinians.”

The United States circulated its own rival draft resolution blaming Hamas for the recent flare-up in Gaza and demanding that Hamas and Islamic Jihad “cease all violent activity and provocative actions, including along the boundary fence.” Kuwait blocked that resolution, saying it did not adequately address Palestinian privations.

Kuwait presented its draft two weeks ago, initially calling for an international protection mission for the Palestinians, following riots on the Israeli-Gaza border in which Israeli troops killed dozens of protesters. Some 30,000 Palestinians gathered near the border on May 14 in an event organized by, among others, the Hamas terrorist group that controls Gaza. Some of them attempted to breach the border and others hurled firebombs at guard posts.

Of the 61 people killed on that day, 50 were Hamas members, a senior spokesman for the group has said.

A final version of the Kuwaiti draft resolution, however, urges “the consideration of measures to guarantee the safety and protection” of Palestinian civilians and requests a report from Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on a possible “international protection mechanism.”

It would be the second time that Haley has resorted to U.S. veto power to block a U.N. measure on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

In December, Haley vetoed a measure that rejected President Donald Trump’s decision to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. The other 14 Security Council members supported the resolution.

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