The U.S. is vowing to veto an Arab-backed resolution that asks the U.N. chief to propose measures to ensure “international protection” for Palestinian civilians.
A vote on the measure – which comes after weeks of urgent discussions but no agreement on any action about escalating violence in Gaza – was at one point expected Thursday evening. Then diplomats said it would be delayed at least until today, but it was unclear late Thursday whether an evening vote might still happen.
The Kuwait-sponsored draft resolution “deplores” and demands a halt to “the use of any excessive, disproportionate and indiscriminate force” by the Israeli military, while it also “deplores the firing of rockets from the Gaza Strip at Israeli civilian areas.”
U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley lambasted the proposal for discussing “excessive” Israeli force while making no mention of Hamas, the Islamic militant group that rules Gaza.
“It is a grossly one-sided approach that is morally bankrupt and would only serve to undermine ongoing efforts toward peace between the Israelis and Palestinians,” Haley said in a statement Thursday evening. Israel’s U.N. ambassador, Danny Danon, also has sharply criticized the proposal.
The Security Council has been deeply divided and paralyzed over dealing with the decades-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict. After a series of emergency meetings about Gaza – the latest just Wednesday – the U.N.’s most powerful body so far hasn’t been able to agree even on a press statement.
The draft resolution expresses “grave concern” at the escalation of violence and tensions and the deteriorating situation in the Palestinian territories, especially since the start of a series of mass protests at the Gaza border March 30.