The US on Friday blocked, for a second week running, a UN Security Council (SC) statement supporting the right of Palestinians to demonstrate peacefully and endorsing secretary-general Antonio Guterres’ call for an independent investigation into the killing and injury of protesters in Gaza.
(AhlulBayt News Agency) - The US on Friday blocked, for a second week running, a UN Security Council (SC) statement supporting the right of Palestinians to demonstrate peacefully and endorsing secretary-general Antonio Guterres’ call for an independent investigation into the killing and injury of protesters in Gaza.
Palestinian UN Ambassador Riyad Mansour told reporters at UN headquarters in New York on Friday evening that 14 of the 15 council nations agreed to the statement, but the United States, Israel’s closest ally, objected.
Mansour called the US rejection “very irresponsible,” saying it gave Israel “the green light to continue with their onslaught against the civilian population” in Gaza.
Tens of thousands of Palestinians gathered along the Gaza border on Friday, condemning Zionist and Saudi regimes, and in opposite site Israeli forces responded with tear gas and live fire, the army and witnesses said, as Palestinians held a second “March of Return” protest.
Mansour said that ten Gaza civilians were martyred and over 1,300 wounded in the clashes, and again urged the UN Security Council to demand an independent investigation into the deaths.
He told reporters at the UN headquarters in New York that one child was among the dead and a large number of children were injured, at least 48 according to one report. He said his information came from the Hamas-run Health Ministry and Red Crescent officials in Gaza.
Mansour condemned “these massacres in the strongest possible terms” and demanded a halt and an independent investigation.
Mansour said the United Nations would keep all its options open including seeking a Security Council presidential statement or resolution, going to the UN General Assembly or the Geneva-based Human Rights Council where there are no vetoes, and urging secretary-general Guterres to establish an independent investigation.
“We will not give up,” Mansour said. “We will continue knocking on doors.”
Earlier on Friday, Kuwait, which represents Arab countries at the council, circulated a draft press statement to member states that reaffirmed Palestinians’ right to peaceful protest and called for an independent and transparent probe of the clashes over the past week.
Last Saturday, the US blocked a similar draft UN Security Council statement urging restraint and calling for an investigation of clashes on the border, diplomats said.