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US in the Cold at UN

In a humiliating vote, the US was the only country to vote in favor of a revised draft resolution it submitted subsequent to the Kuwait-sponsored initiative. The second vote saw 11 countries abstaining and three rejecting it
US in the Cold at UNUS in the Cold at UN
Israeli forces killed a Palestinian nurse on Friday as she tried to help a wounded protester at the Gaza border. Her last Facebook post said, “Hit me with your bullets. I am not afraid”

The United States has voted against a Kuwait-drafted United Nations Security Council resolution calling for the protection of Palestinian civilians, while being the only country to back its own measure condemning Hamas for the recent violence in the Gaza Strip.

More than 120 Palestinians have been killed and thousands wounded by Israeli forces during weeks-long peaceful protests in the besieged Gaza Strip near the fence with Israel. Among the victims have been medical professionals and journalists, Al Jazeera reported.

Ten countries, including Russia and France, voted in favor of the Kuwait-sponsored resolution on Friday.

Four others—Britain, Poland, the Netherlands and Ethiopia—abstained, while the US, a major ally of Israel, was the only country to vote against it.

The resolution, which was revised three times and said to have been "watered down", previously called for international protection for Palestinian people.

The final draft called for "the consideration of measures to guarantee the safety and protection of the Palestinian civilian population in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in the Gaza Strip."

>Blind Loyalty

US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley described the resolution as "grossly one-sided" as she pinned the blame for much of Palestinians' suffering on the Hamas movement, which runs the enclave.

In a statement later on Friday, Hanan Ashrawi, Palestinian Liberation Organization executive committee member, said the US had once again demonstrated its "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."

>Humiliating Vote

The US was in turn the only country to vote in favor of a revised draft resolution it submitted subsequent to the Kuwait-sponsored initiative. The second vote saw 11 countries abstaining and three rejecting it.

The US version had omitted references to Israeli use of force and protecting Palestinians. It instead demanded that Hamas and other Palestinian groups cease "all violent provocative actions" in Gaza.

Al Jazeera's James Bays, reporting from the UN headquarters in New York, said the US diplomatic efforts "seemed to have backfired".

"I don't know when there was last a resolution put to the Security Council that only got one vote in favor," said Bays.

"It seems a very humiliating vote for the US, and one that is very starkly showing the divisions around the Security Council table on this issue," he added.

"The US was not able to muster the support from its normal allies, they are not coming to their support on this issue."

>Unending Tragedy

Israeli forces killed a Palestinian nurse on Friday as she tried to help a wounded protester at the Gaza border, according to health officials and a witness, Reuters reported.

Najar, a 21-year-old volunteer medic, was shot as she ran toward the fortified border fence in a bid to reach a casualty, a witness said.

Wearing a white uniform, "she raised her hands high in a clear way, but Israeli soldiers fired and she was hit in the chest," the witness, who requested anonymity, told Reuters.

Gazan medical officials said at least 100 Palestinians were wounded by army gunfire during Friday's mass demonstrations.

The surge in violence at the border crescendoed this week to the most intensive shelling exchanges between Israel and Hamas and another Palestinian armed faction since a 2014 flare-up. But the violence, which caused no fatalities, was reined in with Egyptian ceasefire mediation.

In the protests, billed as the "Great March of Return", Palestinians have been calling for the right to return to lands lost to Israel during the 1948 war. Israel's lethal response has drawn international censure.

Friday's turnout of protesters was less than in previous weeks, but is expected to grow next week as Palestinians mark the anniversary of Israel's capture of the Gaza Strip and West Bank and East Bait-ul-Moqaddas in the 1967 war. Israel quit Gaza in 2005, but has elsewhere deepened settlements on occupied land.

At her house in Khan Yunis, Najar's mother collapsed in grief as she was handed her daughter's blood-stained uniform.

A statement from Gaza's Health Ministry mourned Najar as a "martyr". Interviewed by Reuters in April, she said she would see the border protests through until their end.

"I am returning and not retreating," Najar's last Facebook post said. "Hit me with your bullets. I am not afraid."

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