UN General Assembly to vote on Gaza resolution that claims excessive force by Israel


(JTA) — The United Nations General Assembly at an emergency meeting on Gaza will vote on a resolution that condemns Israel for an “excessive use of force.”

The measure to be voted on Wednesday afternoon is backed by Arab countries and also calls for “protection of the Palestinian civilian population” in Gaza. It is similar to one that was introduced at the U.N. Security Council earlier this month that was vetoed by the United States.

Some 130 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire since protests along the Gaza border began on March 30, including many who are members of the Hamas terrorist group that controls the strip. There have not been any Israeli casualties, though thousands of acres of Israeli agricultural land and woodlands have been burned by incendiary kites and explosives-laden balloons flown from Gaza into southern Israel in order to start fires.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley opposes the measure and has proposed amendments that condemn Hamas for firing rockets into Israel, inciting violence during the border protests and using resources that could help civilians build terror tunnels to infiltrate Israel.

Resolutions adopted by the General Assembly are nonbinding, while Security Council resolutions are binding.

In a similar scenario in December, the General Assembly approved a resolution condemning the U.S. decision to move its embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv by a wide margin after the United States vetoed a similar resolution in the Security Council.

Nine countries voted against the resolution, including Israel, the United States, Guatemala, Honduras and Togo, and 35 abstained, including EU member states Poland, Romania, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Croatia and Latvia. The rest of the European Union was among the 128 nations that voted in favor.

Haley invited the countries that did not support the resolution to a reception to thank them for their friendship.

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