U.S. asks UN to condemn Hamas in Gaza vote

13.06.2018

U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley has urged countries to condemn Hamas instead of voting for a resolution on Gaza which she called "fundamentally imbalanced," ahead of a General Assembly meeting on Wednesday.

The UN General Assembly is due to meet and hold a vote on an Arab-backed text on Gaza at the request of the UN's Palestinian delegation and their Arab and Muslim allies.

Haley called the proposed resolution "a fundamentally imbalanced text that ignores basic truths about the situation in Gaza," in a letter to UN ambassadors seen by journalists on Tuesday. She urged member states to support a U.S. amendment, which would be voted on separately beforehand and condemns the Islamist group Hamas which controls the Gaza Strip.

The Arab-backed text deplores the use of "excessive, disproportionate and indiscriminate force" against Palestinians. It also deplores the firing of rockets from the Gaza Strip into Israel.

"If we are to truly work for the protection of the Palestinian people, the international community must condemn the malign behaviour of Hamas without delay," the letter reads.

The U.S. amendment is "not controversial," Haley wrote.

The vote in the 193-member General Assembly comes after the U.S. vetoed a Kuwaiti-drafted resolution on Gaza in the 15-member UN Security Council on 1 June.

Whereas Security Council votes are binding, General Assembly resolutions carry no legal weight. Since 30 March, scores of Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in demonstrations largely organised by Hamas along Gaza's border with Israel.    (dpa)

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