For Second Week, U.S. Blocks UN Call for Investigation Into Gaza Violence

Nine Palestinians were killed by Israeli army gunfire after clashes resumed over the weekend

Tear gas fired by Israeli forces passes through smoke created by Palestinian protesters burning tires during clashes along the Gaza-Israel border on April 6, 2018.
SAID KHATIB/AFP

For the second week in a row, the U.S. administration blocked a UN Security Council statement over the weekend that called for an investigation into clashes on Israel's border with Gaza that left nine Palestinians dead. 29 have died since Palestinian protests began last week.

The statement, proposed by Kuwait as the representative of Arab countries on the council, expressed sorrow over the deaths of innocent protesters and urged the body to open a transparent internal investigation of the events.

Nine Palestinians were killed by Israeli army gunfire after clashes resumed between Palestinian protesters and Israeli forces along the Gaza border on Friday, Gaza's Health Ministry reported. The dead include photojournalist Yaser Murtaja, who was shot in the chest while wearing a vest marked "press."

The U.S. blocked a similar statement last week, after clashes on the border between Israel and Gaza left 15 Palestinians dead.

Earlier Saturday the European Union released a statement saying the deaths on the Gaza border raise "serious questions about the proportionate use of force."

"Yesterday, at least nine Palestinians, including a minor and a journalist wearing a 'press' jacket, were killed in Gaza and hundreds were injured by Israeli live fire," reads the EU statement. "This raises serious questions about the proportionate use of force which must be addressed."