UN blames Israel for Gaza violence

US arrests Israeli national

Published: June 14, 2018 22:36:00

Mother of Palestinian Hiatham Al-Jamal (15), who was killed during a protest on the Israel-Gaza border, gesturing as she shows clothes he bought to wear during Eid ul-Fitr holiday, in Gaza Strip on Thursday — Reuters

The UN General Assembly approved a Palestinian-backed resolution on Wednesday blaming Israel for violence in Gaza and deploring its "excessive use of force," after narrowly rejecting a US demand to add a condemnation of attacks on Israel by Gaza's Hamas rulers, reports AP.

The votes reflected wide concern in the 193-member world body that the resolution sponsored by Arab and Islamic nations was one-sided and failed to even mention Hamas, which has fired over 100 rockets at Israel.

Since near-weekly mass protests began March 30 along the Israel-Gaze border, more than 120 Palestinians have been killed and over 3,800 wounded by Israeli army fire.

The overwhelming majority of the dead and wounded have been unarmed, according to Gaza health officials.

Israel's use of potentially lethal force against the protesters has drawn international criticism.

Israel accuses Hamas of trying to carry out attacks and damage the border fence under the guise of the protests.

For the Palestinians, the resolution's key provision is a request to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to make proposals within 60 days "on ways and means for ensuring the safety, protection and well-being of the Palestinian civilian population under Israeli occupation," including on "an international protection mechanism."

In the General Assembly, the confrontation over Gaza, reflecting decades-old divisions between Israel and the Palestinians, played out with a few new twists.

Algerian Ambassador Sabri Boukadoum, representing Arab nations, first sought to block a vote on the US amendment, saying it wasn't relevant to the resolution.

He said it also undermined reconciliation efforts between rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah as well as the "remote prospects" of reviving peace negotiations with Israel.

Meanwhile, US officials said Wednesday that a native Israeli woman living in Wisconsin coached potential Islamic State attackers on how to cook up ricin and kept a library of books on making bombs, poisons and suicide vests.

The Justice Department charged Waheba Issa Dais with attempting to provide material support to Islamic State after arresting the 45 year old divorcee in Cudahy, Wisconsin on Wednesday.

She was said to be the first person in six months to be arrested on charges of supporting a violent jihadist group.

Dais, a legal US resident since 1992, used a number of social media accounts, including accounts hijacked from others, to promote the Islamic State group and facilitate recruitment, according to an indictment.

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