UN Assembly approves resolution blaming Israel for Gaza violence

U.S. President Barack Obama checks to see if he still needs the umbrella held by a U.S. Marine to protect him from the rain during a joint news conference with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington

U.S. President Barack Obama checks to see if he still needs the umbrella held by a U.S. Marine to protect him from the rain during a joint news conference with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington

It also seeks recommendations from UN Secretary-General Antonio Gutterese on ensuring protection for Palestinian civilians, including an "international protection mechanism".

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. No Israelis have died.

When the voting tally on the original resolution produced the more familiar United Nations split of 120 in favor, 8 against, and 45 abstentions, there was relieved applause from the Palestinian delegation.

A similar Security Council resolution was vetoed earlier this month by the United States for being "fundamentally imbalanced" and "grossly one-sided", U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley said.

In her speech to the delegates, Haley asserted that condemning Israel was a "favorite political sport" at the UN. Israel says Hamas has used the protests as cover for attacks on the border fence.

Standing with a half dozen Arab and Islamic supporters Friday, the Palestinian ambassador said Guterres "should utilize all the tools available to him in the (U.N.) Secretariat and on the ground, and with all of the collective mind of all of us who are ready and willing to help in any possible way".

The resolution deplored Israel´s use of "excessive, disproportionate and indiscriminate force" against Palestinian civilians and called for protection measures for Palestinians in Gaza and the occupied West Bank.

While Security Council resolutions are legally binding, General Assembly resolutions are not, although assembly spokesman Brenden Varma stressed Wednesday that they do reflect "political will" as well as global opinion.

Meanwhile, the United States voted against a Kuwait-drafted UN Security Council resolution on June 2 calling for the protection of Palestinian civilians.

These could range from setting up an observer mission to a full-blown peacekeeping force, but action on any option would require backing from the Security Council, where the United States has veto power.

Mansour stressed: "We need action".

"We are asking for a simple thing", Mansour told the assembly.

The proposed US amendment would also condemn the diversion of resources in Gaza to building tunnels to infiltrate Israel and equipment to fire rockets and express "grave concern" at the destruction of the Kerem Shalom crossing point to Israel "by actors in Gaza".

Taking the podium, Israeli Ambassador Danny Danon assailed the measure as an "attempt to take away our basic right to self-defense".

Haley expressed optimism, however, about the number of countries that supported the USA amendment to condemn Hamas. "It makes not one mention of the Hamas terrorists who routinely initiate the violence in Gaza", U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley told the General Assembly before the vote. Lajčák made a hasty presidential ruling that a two-thirds majority was needed for the amendment to pass.

Before the vote, the USA ambassador Nikki Haley said there were "no ideal actors" on either side of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. That vote was 128 to 9, with 35 abstentions.