‘Imagine outcry if Israelis were held in open air prison like Gaza & 120 were shot dead’
The UN has adopted a nonbinding resolution condemning Israel's excessive use of force during clashes in Gaza which have left more than 120 Palestinians dead since the end of March.
The resolution was passed by the General Assembly in New York with 120 votes in favor and eight against. However, the text does not include a US amendment, blaming Hamas for inciting violence, as it did not get enough support.
Israel and the United States strongly opposed the vote calling it biased and one-sided, while the Palestinian side said that a resolution was not enough.
Investigative journalist Rick Sterling told RT that the UN condemnation of Israel's use of deadly force shows the isolation of the US and Israel on this issue.
“There was a 120 votes ‘Yes’, and eight votes ‘No.’ But of those eight, five of them are tiny island nations, like the Solomon Islands... and other countries that few people have heard of before. Only three countries have actually opposed the resolution: that was Israel, the US and Australia,” said Sterling.
Sterling believes that it shows the overwhelming international recognition of what is going on in the Gaza Strip. “The facts are very clear. Over the last two months about a 130 Palestinians killed, many thousands seriously injured…And as much as the US and Nikki Haley may deny it, it is being recognized increasingly around the world,” he added.
Sterling claimed that “the situation is very biased” saying that “you’ve got approximately 2 million [Palestinian] people in what amounts to an open air prison.”
“Just imagine the reverse scenario: imagine that 2 million Israelis were held captive in an open air prison and when they protested, 120 of them were shot and killed. Just imagine what kind of outcry there would be about that. The situation is biased. That is the reality. It is totally unjust and it needs to be called to account for the good of everyone,” he explained.
Israel and the US claims Hamas is responsible for much of the violence. “The resolution is one-sided, makes not one mention of Hamas which routinely initiates violence,” the US envoy Haley said during the debate preceding the vote, adding that: “What makes Gaza different is that attacking Israel is their favorite political sport.”
Sterling argued that the blaming of Hamas “is just a distraction” and that “it is a form of deception to mislead the people [and stop them] from seeing what it pretty clear.”
“You’ve got unarmed protesters who are in Gaza, hundreds of yards from the so-called fence and they are being shot by snipers with live ammunition. This is what is going on. It is really a testament to the courage of Palestinians that they have kept going on and also a testament of desperation of how grim the situation is. They’ve seen thousands of their fellow women and men, including medics, shot and injured or killed. And yet Palestinians continued going out week after week protesting against oppression.”
Asked about the prospects of the border standoff between Israel and Gaza being resolved, Sterling said that there is a clear recognition that there is no future in continuing this kind of oppression. “In the long run, there is got to be a real change in the situation there and so, this resolution at the UN General Assembly is a small but positive step in the right direction,” he concluded.
Dr Gina Loudon, political analyst and author, noted that the resolution adopted in the General Assembly is nonbinding, “but what it can do is exert political pressure on them to act and I believe part of what was passed was something along the lines of a resolution asking for some sort of action.”
Loudon said she had just returned from Israel and studied the issue. “I agree with the [US and Israeli] ambassadors that this is a vital mistake and if people knew the true story about Israel regarding Hamas, this vote would not have gone this way,” she told RT.
She also argued that “a lot of times these deaths of these Palestinians, are actually because they are using civilians as human shields. And a lot of times…the violence is actually initiated by Hamas, certainly not by Israel. It is a very frustrating situation I know from most Israelis that I talk to,” Loudon added.
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