US vetoes UN resolution denouncing violence against Palestinians

US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley vetoes an Arab-backed resolution for protection of Palestinian civilians during a Security Council meeting at UN headquarters in Manhattan. (Reuters pic)

NEW YORK: The United States vetoed on Friday a Kuwait-drafted UN Security Council resolution that condemned Israel’s use of force against Palestinian civilians, criticizing it as a “grossly one-sided view” that failed to blame Hamas for the recent violence.

“The terrorist group Hamas bears primary responsibility for the awful living conditions in Gaza,” Nikki Haley, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said ahead of the vote.

She criticized the resolution for not mentioning Hamas once.

“Anyone who cares about the peace process should vote against it,” Haley said.

France, Russia, China, Ivory Coast, Kazakhstan, Bolivia, Peru, Sweden, and Equatorial Guinea joined Kuwait in voting in favour, while only the United States voted against. Britain, the Netherlands, Poland and Ethiopia abstained.

A Security Council resolution needs nine votes in favour and no vetoes by any of the permanent members — the United States, Britain, France, Russia or China to be adopted.

A second draft resolution proposed by the United States blaming Hamas for the violence while mentioning Israel’s right to defend itself was later voted on.

Only the United States voted in favour of the second draft resolution, while there were three negative votes and 10 abstentions.

Both Hamas, the dominant group in Gaza, and the pro-Iran Islamic Jihad have said their recent actions including shelling of Israeli territory are in response to Israel’s killing of at least 116 Palestinians since March 30 in Gaza border protests.