The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) failed on Friday to pass two proposals on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, one sponsored by Kuwait urging protection for the Palestinians was vetoed by the United States, and another by the United States condemning Hamas for the recent escalation.
Friday’s afternoon session at the UN body was marked by complete paralysis. The Kuwaiti proposal got the backing of 10 of the council’s 15 members, enough to pass, but was vetoed by US representative Nikki Haley.
The vote was held in response to yet another day of deadly protests along the Israel-Gaza border fence in which one Palestinian woman was shot dead. Friday marked the 10th week of protests in which dozens of Gazans have been shot by the Israel Defence Forces.
Two European countries voted yes on the Kuwaiti proposal, and the final tally as reported by Al Hurra:
• 10 Yes votes: Kuwait, Kazakhstan, Russia, China, Bolivia, Peru, Sweden, France, Equatorial Guinea, and Cote d’Ivoire.
• 1 No votes: US veto
• 4 Abstentions: UK, Poland, Netherlands, Ethiopia
In contrast, the US proposal condemning Hamas did not get any support from any other members:
• 1 Yes votes: US
• 3 No: Kuwait, Russia and Bolivia
• 11 Abstentions: Kazakhstan, China, Peru, Sweden, France, Equatorial Guinea, UK, Poland, Netherland, Ethiopia and Cote d’Ivoire.
The Kuwaiti proposal urged protection for the Palestinians. After consultations with Europeans, the draft was amended and in its final version urged "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".
The draft also called for “tangible steps towards intra-Palestinian reconciliation, including in support of the mediation efforts of Egypt”.
Ms Haley called the Kuwaiti draft “grossly one-sided and morally bankrupt.” The US draft would have condemned Hamas for the recent escalation after firing a barrage of rockets into Israel on Tuesday.
Kuwait holds one of 10 non-permanent seats at the UNSC, and its term will finish in June 2019.