U.S. blocks call for probe of Gaza violence

United States reportedly blocks Security Council statement calling for independent probe of deadly violence on the Israel-Gaza border.

Ben Ariel,

UN Security Council
UN Security Council
Reuters

The United States on Monday blocked the adoption of a UN Security Council statement that would have called for an independent probe of deadly violence on the Israel-Gaza border, diplomats said, according to an AFP report.

"The Security Council expresses its outrage and sorrow at the killing of Palestinian civilians exercising their right to peaceful protest," read a draft of the statement, a copy of which was seen by the news agency.

"The Security Council calls for an independent and transparent investigation into these actions to ensure accountability," the text further said.

At least 58 people were killed on Monday in violent clashes along the Israel-Gaza border, as Palestinian Arabs protested the inauguration of the new U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem.

The dead included eight children under the age of 16, according to the Palestinian Arab envoy to the United Nations.

"The Security Council expresses its grave concern regarding recent developments in the Palestinian territory occupied by Israel since 1967, including East Jerusalem, particularly in the context of the peaceful protests in the Gaza Strip and the tragic loss of civilian lives," the draft statement read, according to AFP.

"The Security Council calls upon all sides to exercise restraint with a view to averting further escalation and establishing calm," it said.

"The Security Council calls on all States not to undertake any steps that further aggravate the situation, including any unilateral and unlawful measures undermining the prospects of peace."

The statement further said that any decisions and actions "which purport to have altered the character, status or demographic composition of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal effect" -- a reference to the American decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

The protests along the Israel-Gaza border have been ongoing since March 30 and have been openly encouraged by Hamas.

On Monday, the IDF released two video clips from the violent confrontations on the Gaza border, one of which shows members of an armed squad attempting to break through the perimeter fence. An IDF vehicle arrives at the scene and fires at the terrorists, some of whom escape.


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