In an emergency meeting on Wednesday, the United Nations General Assembly adopted an Arab-sponsored resolution calling for greater protection for Palestinians, and deploring any use of “excessive, disproportionate and indiscriminate” force by the Israeli military against Palestinian civilians, particularly in Gaza.
The emergency session of the 193-member Assembly, came about following weeks of violence along the border of the Gaza Strip – the Palestinian enclave blockaded by Israel – where hundreds of thousands of Palestinians participated in “the Great March of Return” protests, beginning at the end of March.
More than 120 Palestinian civilians were reportedly killed by Israeli forces while participating in the protests against Israel’s years-long blockade.
The resolution was adopted by a vote of 120 in favour, 8 against, with 45 abstentions.
A US amendment which condemned the role played in Gaza by the Hamas extremist group, which controls the enclave, was voted on first.
After several rounds of procedural voting, and delays over tallying votes, the US text secured the support of 62 countries, with 58 against; coming up short of the two-thirds majority support needed.
Assembly President Miroslav Lajčák convened the meeting, following a formal request from Algeria and Turkey, in their respective capacities as Chair of the Arab Group and Chair of the Summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.
Unlike a resolution on Palestinian civilian protection that was vetoed by the US in the UN Security Council on 1 June, Wednesday’s identical resolution in the Assembly was not subject to the same rules as exist in the Council.