UN General Assembly denounces Gaza repression

The UN General Assembly June 13 adopted a resolution calling for greater protection for the Palestinian people following weeks of the "Great March of Return" protests on the eastern borders of the Gaza Strip. The resolution also denounces any use of "excessive, disproportionate and indiscriminate" force by Israeli forces against Palestinians, particularly in the Gaza Strip. The Algerian-sponsored resolution was adopted by a vote of 120 in favor, eight against, with 45 abstentions. The Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine to the UN, Riyad Mansour, said prior to voting, that "our decision to approach to the Assembly was prompted by the Security Council's failure to act due to the veto cast on 1 June by a permanent member."* Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said that the vote is "a victory for Palestinian rights, justice and international law."

While the UNGA—in which every member country has an equal vote—has historically stood in support of Palestinians, its resolutions are generally non-binding. The most impactful UN institution is the UN Security Council, in which the United States has regularly used its veto power to halt texts deemed to critical of Israel.

From Ma'an News Agency, June 14. 

* Note: On June 1, the United States vetoed a Security Council measure backed by Arab countries to protect Palestinians and condemn Israel. (NYT)

Israeli air-strikes kill two children in Gaza

Two Palestinian children were killed July 14 when Israeli warplanes struck a public park in Gaza City. Besides killing the two minors and wounding about 15 other Palestinians, the missiles destroyed an ambulance, damaged nine other ambulances and several other vehicles, and severely damaged a number of nearby buildings. (Ma'an)

Ceasefire declared following violent night in Gaza

The Hamas and Islamic Jihad movements declared their willingness to cease fire following Israeli air-strikes that left four Palestinians killed. Israel said that its forces targeted 60 alleged Hamas sites in the Gaza Strip after an Israeli soldiers was shot dead at the Gazan borders by resistance fighters. (Ma'an)

Israeli airstrikes kill pregnant mother, toddler in Gaza

Three Palestinians were killed and many others severely injured on predawn Aug. 9 due to the continuous Israeli airstrikes carried out over the besieged Gaza Strip. The Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza confirmed that among the three killed was a 23-year-old pregnant mother along with her 18-month-old toddler. (Ma'an)