US veto a sign of moral bankruptcy, says Palestinians official

Bethlehem/ PNN/

Many Palestinian officials have condemned the United States veto  in UN Security Council against resolution to provide international protection to the Palestinian people.

For her part and in response to questions regarding the recent UN Security Council vote, PLO Executive Committee Member Dr. Hanan Ashrawi said in statement:”We express our appreciation to the UN Security Council Members who respected their legal and moral obligations and voted in favor of the UNSC resolution which called for the protection of the Palestinian people and accountability for Israel’s violations.

Ashrawi added that :”By postponing the vote and presenting their own ‘alternative’ resolution that is a total falsehood and a distortion of reality, the United States and its Ambassador Nikki Haley have once again demonstrated their blind loyalty to Israel and tried to absolve it of any wrongdoing despite its egregious violations, deliberate massacres and willful killings and war crimes. With its veto, the United States is once again attempting to justify the lawlessness and cruelty of Israel’s military occupation, while providing Israel with legal and political cover to pursue its assault on the Palestinian people and on international law and international humanitarian law.

This, in fact, is a morally bankrupt policy and another blow to the credibility and integrity of the international community as represented by the UN Ashrawi said.

It is regrettable that the UK, Poland, the Netherlands, and Ethiopia succumbed to American pressure and abstained on such a basic and justified resolution that lies at the heart of the mandate and responsibilities of the UN.

It is thus of particular urgency that the international community act quickly to prevent further violence against innocent civilians and end the occupation that deliberately targets the Palestinians. It is the responsibility of the world to provide protection for the people of Palestine and not to find excuses for the occupation and the aggressor; this is where the international community is facing its real test.”

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki  regretted the US veto of a Kuwait-drafted UN Security Council (UNSC) resolution calling for the provision of international protection to the Palestinian people.

“Today, a solid majority of members, including three permanent members of the Council, voted in favor of upholding international law and providing the Palestinian people with protection from the colonial Israeli occupation. We regret however that the Council’s will was hijacked by one member and it thus failed to uphold its responsibility under the Charter.” said al-Malki in a press statement.

“We are however encouraged by the resounding message communicated by the Council members through their vote on the US draft resolution,” he added.

He called on the United States “to accept facts and realities: No one can whitewash the ongoing Israeli occupation and its grave violations of human rights and international law.”

He pledged that Palestine “will persevere in pursuing all available political and legal avenues to ensure the protection of our people from the occupation until this colonial occupation ends.”

The UNSC voted Friday on a Kuwait-drafted resolution calling for setting up an international protection for the Palestinian people following the killing of dozens of peaceful Palestinian protestors by Israeli forces in Gaza.

Out of the council’s 15 members, 10 voted in favor, including France, and only the US voted against. There were four abstentions including Britain.

The draft resolution, submitted by Kuwait on Tuesday, “calls for the consideration of measures to guarantee the safety and protection of the Palestinian civilian population.”

It also calls for urgent steps “to ensure an immediate, durable and fully respected ceasefire” and asks UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for a written report within 60 days detailing recommendations about “an international protection mechanism”.

The draft also urges immediate, unimpeded humanitarian access and “tangible steps” towards reconciliation between different Palestinian factions, according to the New York Times.

The final version reportedly urged Guterres to report within 30 days of its adoption on “ways and means for ensuring the safety, protection and well-being of the Palestinian civilian population.”

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 US.