US blocks UN statement demanding probe into Gaza bloodshed
Iran Press TV
Sat Apr 7, 2018 04:51AM
For the second consecutive week, the US has blocked a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) statement calling for an investigation into Israel's recent killing of the Gazans and supporting the Palestinians' right to demonstrate peacefully.
Palestinian Ambassador to the UN Riyad Mansour said on Friday that 14 out of the 15 UNSC member states had agreed to the Kuwait-proposed statement, but the US rejected it.
Mansour also described the US stance as "very irresponsible," saying it gives the Israelis "the green light to continue with their onslaught against the civilian population," which began on March 30.
The Palestinian UN envoy further stressed that the world body would keep all its options open, including seeking a Security Council presidential statement or resolution, going to the UN General Assembly or the Human Rights Council, and urging UN chief to establish an independent investigation into the Gaza bloodshed.
"We will not give up," he said, adding, "We will continue knocking on doors."
The statement brought by Kuwait to the UNSC was similar to the one it submitted last week. It was also blocked by Washington.
In addition to calling for an independent and transparent probe into the Gaza carnage, the statement reaffirmed the Palestinians' right to peaceful protests and called on all sides to practice restraint.
Kuwait's UN Ambassador Mansour al-Otaibi, condemned in the strongest terms Israeli forces' "killing and injuring of Palestinians protesting for their inalienable right."
"Once again, we echo the call of the secretary general for the need of an independent and transparent investigation into these incidents. We also reaffirm the importance of providing international protection for Palestinians," he added.
The Arab League's UN Ambassador Maged Abdelaziz said the organization's ministers will exchange views on options to pursue the Palestinian issue during a meeting in Riyadh on April 12 ahead of a summit of Arab leaders on April 15.
On March 30, Palestinians marched to the fence separating Gaza from the occupied territories at the start of a six-week protest, dubbed "The Great March of Return," demanding the right to return for those driven out of their homeland.
The demonstrations turned violent after Israeli forces used tear gas and live fire against the protesters.
On Friday, similar anti-occupation mass rallies hit Gaza, with Palestinians burning tires and throwing stones at Israeli soldiers who responded with firing live ammunition and tear gas.
Over 30 Palestinians have been killed by the Israeli military over the past week.
Israel has tightened military presence on the Gaza fence, deploying armored vehicles, back-up special forces and snipers. The regime's forces have also the permission to open fire on unnamed Gazans.
In a rare move, the protesters on Friday burned photographs of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who has angered the Palestinians by his overtures towards the Israeli regime.
The prince recently said the Israelis, like Palestinians, have the "right" to have their "own homeland."
Saudi Arabia, which has widely been reported to be in clandestine ties with Israel, has largely been silent on the regime's bloody crackdown on Palestinians.
The Return rallies culminate on May 15, the day Palestinians commemorate Nakba Day (Day of Catastrophe) when hundreds of thousands fled or were driven out of their homes in 1948 and Israel was created.
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