The United States vetoed on Friday a Kuwait-drafted UN Security Council resolution that condemned Israel's use of force against Palestinian civilians, criticizing it as a "grossly one-sided view" that failed to blame Hamas for the recent violence.
"The terrorist group Hamas bares primary responsibility for the awful living conditions in Gaza," Nikki Haley, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said ahead of the vote.
Out of the council's 15 members, 10 voted in favor, including France, and only the United States voted against. There were four abstentions including Britain.
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A resolution needs nine votes in favor and no vetoes by the United States, Britain, France, Russia or China to be adopted.
Both Hamas, the dominant group in Gaza, and the pro-Iran Islamic Jihad have said their recent actions including shelling of Israeli territory are in response to Israel's killing of at least 116 Palestinians since March 30 in Gaza border protests.