USA vetoes United Nations measure to protect Palestinians

A 21-year-old Palestinian paramedic was shot dead in the chest by Israeli military Friday in the Gaza Strip while wearing the white uniform of a medic, the Palestinian Health Ministry said.

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 Kuwaiti proposal got the backing of 10 of the council's 15 members, enough to pass, but was vetoed by USA representative Nikki Haley.

"The United States will not allow such bias, which is why we did not hesitate to cast our veto".

As the United States has veto power as a permanent member of the Security Council, the draft failed to be adopted.

Thousands of Palestinians thronged to the Israeli border in the eastern Gaza Strip, marking the 10th weekly protest aimed at drawing attention to the crippling Israeli-Egyptian blockade and demanding the right for Palestinians to return to former homes in what's now Israel.

In December, Haley vetoed a measure that rejected President Donald Trump's decision to move the United States embassy to Jerusalem after all 14 other council members supported it. This makes her a much higher profile victim of Israeli violence than most, and will likely add to regional anger about Israel's actions in Gaza.

Then Hamas and the smaller Islamic Jihad group bombarded southern Israel with rockets and mortars Tuesday, and Israel responded by striking targets throughout Gaza. It calls for urgent steps "to ensure an immediate, durable and fully respected ceasefire" and asks UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for a written report within 60 days detailing recommendations about "an worldwide protection mechanism".

It was the second time that Haley has resorted to USA veto power to block a United Nations measure on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Israelis have also accused Hamas and its militant affiliates in Gaza of using the protests as cover for sending attackers into Israel.

More than 120 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces along the fence that divides Israel from Gaza since the protests erupted in March.

It was the worst flareup since the 2014 war in Gaza. At an emergency meeting on Wednesday, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nikolay Mladenov, said the latest escalation in Gaza was a warning of "how close to the brink of war we are every day", according to Ynet.

Only the United States voted in favour of the second draft resolution, while there were three negative votes and 11 abstentions.