U.S. Blocks UN Security Council Statement on Gaza Border Clashes

The statement called for an independent probe into deadly clashes at the Gaza border. 'I'm shocked to hear such hypocrisy,' says Israeli ambassador to UN

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Palestinian protesters run for cover from tear gas fired by Israeli security forces east of Gaza City in the Gaza strip on March 31, 2018
Palestinian protesters run for cover from tear gas fired by Israeli security forces east of Gaza City in the Gaza strip on March 31, 2018Credit: MAHMUD HAMS/AFP

The United States blocked a draft statement in the UN Security Council Saturday that called for an investigation into clashes on Israel's border with Gaza that left 15 Palestinians dead, diplomats told AFP.

The statement proposed by Kuwait, the representative of Arab countries on the council, demanded an "independent and transparent investigation" into Friday's violence with respect to international law.

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The statement also expressed "grave concern at the situation at the border," affirmed "the right to peaceful protest" and "called upon all sides to exercise restraint and prevent a further escalation."

The U.S. raised objections to the council's adoption of the statement Saturday after it was circulated on Friday, said one diplomat to AFP.

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Israel's Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon said on Israeli radio Saturday that the U.S. stopped the statement from advancing in cooperation with Israel. "The wording was acceptable to all members of the council excluding the United States," Dannon said in an interview, "but the facts are clear. We are currently transferring to the various representatives material on the terrorists that took part in this activity."

"I was shocked to see the extent of such hypocrisy, and hear European representatives equating the State of Israel with a terrorist organization and calling on both sides to show restraint. That is hypocrisy. In another country there woul dhave been hundreds dead, not dozens. We don't need to abide with any inspection, we know how to inspect our selves." In the 2014 Gaza war, he added, "we examined ourselves."

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