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)