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US vetoes UN resolution on protecting Palestinians

© AFP/File | US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley denounced as 'wildly inaccurate' an Arab-backed UN draft resolution to protect the Palestinians that was vetoed by Washington

UNITED NATIONS (UNITED STATES) (AFP) - 

The United States vetoed Friday an Arab-backed UN draft resolution calling for measures to protect the Palestinians after more than 100 were killed by Israeli fire during protests at the border with Gaza.

Ten countries including China, France and Russia voted in favor of the draft put forward by Kuwait on behalf of Arab countries at the Security Council. Four countries -- Britain, Ethiopia, the Netherlands and Poland -- abstained.

A draft resolution requires nine votes to be adopted in the 15-member council and no veto from the five permanent members -- Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States.

US Ambassador Nikki Haley told the council the measure was "wildly inaccurate in its characterization of recent events in Gaza" by condemning Israel for the violence.

The Kuwait-drafted text had called for "measures to guarantee the safety and protection" of Palestinian civilians in Gaza and the occupied West Bank, and requested a UN report to propose an "international protection mechanism."

Ahead of the vote, a young Palestinian woman was shot dead by Israeli soldiers near the Gaza border fence, bringing the death toll of Gazans killed by Israeli fire since the end of March to 123.

It was the second time that Haley has resorted to US veto power to block a UN measure on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

In December, Haley vetoed a draft resolution that rejected President Donald Trump's decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem after all 14 other council members supported it.

The council has been deadlocked over how to respond to the recent violence, even as UN envoy Nickolay Mladenov warned this week that Gaza was "close to the brink of war."

A barrage of rocket and mortars into Israel from Gaza on Tuesday was followed by Israeli strikes on 65 militant sites in the Gaza Strip in the worst flareup since the 2014 war.

Israel has fought three wars in Gaza against Hamas, which the United States considers a terrorist organization.

© 2018 AFP