Palestinians accuse US of ‘blocking’ UN statement on Gaza

Jerusalem: The Palestinians on Saturday accused the US of blocking a UNSC statement on the situation in the Gaza Strip and said Washington’s objection encourages Israel to continue its aggressive action against the Palestinian people.

The Palestinian National Authority Minister of Foreign Affairs Riyad al-Malki said in an official statement that “Washington would block any effort in the Security Council related to the massacre committed and to be committed by Israel in the Gaza Strip,” Xinhua reported.

He added that “without the absolute US protection in the Security Council, Israel won’t dare to commit terrible crimes against the Palestinians.”

In a closed-door session held at a request of Kuwait to discuss the bloody incidents in the Gaza Strip on Friday evening, the UN Security Council failed to agree on a statement condemning Israel’s repression of the Palestinian popular protests on the anniversary of the Land Day.

“The decision was to go for an official open session, but the US side opposed the idea that the Security Council issues a statement to condemn Israel’s repression of demonstrators,” said Representative of the state of Palestine in the UN Ambassador Riyad Mansour.

He also said “the efforts are continuing… we will see in the next few hours and days whether we will succeed in this, or what are the other steps if they remain insistent on not allowing the council to assume its responsibilities in condemning the crime and prosecuting those responsible.”

Mansour unveiled that “several European countries, including the Secretary-General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres, demanded an investigation into events in the Gaza Strip, pointing out that the Palestinian side is pushing in this direction.”

He also said the Palestinian side “won’t accept a probe conducted by the Israelis themselves, but we want to investigate by impartial and fair bodies to brief the world in on this crime,” stressing on the need to start the probe as soon as possible.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ spokesperson Nabil Abu Rudeineh said Saturday that the objections of the United States at the UN Security Council have led to thwarting the issuance of a resolution denouncing the Israeli aggression on the Palestinian people and the killing of 16 Palestinians.

He added that this provides a cover for Israel to continue its aggression against the Palestinian people and encourage it to defy international legitimacy resolutions that aim at ending the occupation.

President Abbas held Israel totally responsible for the events on Friday and declared Saturday as a national mourning day.

A coordination committee composed of Palestinian political factions, civil society organizations and youth groups called weeks ago for a large popular rally at nearly 700 meters away from the Israeli border fence under the title of the “Great March of Return” starting on Friday.

The Friday rally was the start of a six-week long protest that is expected to reach a peak on May 15, the day Israel celebrates its establishment and Palestinians mark the forcible transfer of two thirds of the Palestinian people and the ethnic cleansing of 418 Palestinian villages.

Demonstrators demand that Palestinian refugees should be allowed the right of return to the towns and villages from which their families fled or were forcibly driven out of when the State of Israel was created in 1948.