UNGA likely to discuss Palestine resolution next week

Draft resolution 'expresses grave concern' over killings of Palestinian civilians by Israeli forces

09.06.2018 - Update : 10.06.2018
UNGA likely to discuss Palestine resolution next week

By Tugcenur Yilmaz and Cansu Dikme


A draft resolution for the protection of Palestinian civilians is expected to be discussed at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on Wednesday, said diplomatic sources at the UN.

The emergency special session will discuss and vote on the draft resolution seeking protection for the Palestinian civilian population, after a similar Kuwait-proposed resolution was vetoed by the U.S. last week at the UN Security Council, said the sources on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to the media.

The draft resolution “requests the [UN] Secretary-General to examine the present situation and to submit a written report, as soon as possible, but not later than 60 days from the adoption of the present resolution, containing, inter alia, his proposals on ways and means for ensuring the safety, protection and well-being of the Palestinian civilian population under Israeli occupation, including, inter alia, recommendations regarding an international protection mechanism”.

Addressing the related UN resolution on the protection of the civilians in armed conflict, the draft resolution “expressed grave concern” over killings of civilians -- including children, medical personnel and journalist -- by the Israeli forces, especially in Occupied Palestine.

Stressing the need for the Security Council and member states to strengthen further the protection of civilians, it said “a lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can only be achieved by peaceful means in accordance with international law and the relevant United Nations resolutions and through credible and direct negotiations”.

It “welcomes and urges further engagement by the Secretary-General and the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process to assist, in cooperation with concerned partners, in the efforts to immediately de-escalate the situation and address urgent infrastructure, humanitarian, and economic development needs, including through the implementation of projects endorsed by the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee.”

It also called for renewed and urgent efforts to end the Israeli occupation that began in 1967, to put all the controversial topics between the parties in to final form, to fulfil the necessary conditions to launch credible negotiations, along with “just and lasting comprehensive peace based on the vision of a region where two democratic States, Israel and Palestine, live side by side in peace with secure and recognized borders, on the basis of the relevant United Nations resolutions and the Madrid terms of reference”.

Condemning all acts of violence against civilians, it called for urgent steps to ensure an immediate, durable and fully respected cease-fire.

It “decides to adjourn the tenth emergency special session temporarily and to authorize the President of the General Assembly at its most recent session to resume its meeting upon request from Member States,” the draft resolution read.

Calls for ‘independent, transparent investigations’

Reaffirming the right to peaceful assembly and protest, freedom of expression and of association, it stressed the importance of “independent and transparent investigations” in accordance with international standards.

It said all the parties should make efforts to stabilize the situation and reverse negative trends on the ground.

It also called for “immediate steps towards ending the closure and the restrictions imposed by Israel on movement and access into and out of the Gaza Strip, including through the sustained opening of the crossing points of the Gaza Strip for the flow of humanitarian aid.”

It also “encouraged tangible steps towards intra-Palestinian reconciliation and concrete steps to reunite the Gaza Strip and the West Bank under the legitimate Palestinian government and ensure its effective functioning in the Gaza Strip”.

On June 2, the U.S. vetoed the resolution submitted by Kuwait to the UN Security Council, which condemns Israeli violence and calls for "protection of the Palestinian people" in Gaza and the West Bank.

Ten countries voted in favor, while the U.K., Poland, the Netherlands and Ethiopia abstained.

Later, the Security Council rejected a U.S. proposal calling for condemnation of Hamas for violence in Gaza.

The U.S. resolution was opposed by Russia, Kuwait and Bolivia while 11 countries abstained from voting.

The resolution called for condemnation in the strongest terms of the May 29 rocket attacks from Gaza on Israel which harmed its civilian infrastructure.

Last December, the UN overwhelmingly adopted a resolution on Jerusalem, calling on the United States to withdraw its recognition of the city as Israel's capital, with 128 votes in favor.

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