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UN approves resolution blaming Israel for Gaza violence

UN approves resolution blaming Israel for Gaza violence
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The United Nations General Assembly voted Wednesday to blame Israel for violence in Gaza last month, rejecting a U.S. amendment that would have condemned Hamas as well.

The 193-member assembly approved the resolution by a vote of 120-8, with 45 nations abstaining. The measure, sponsored by Palestine, Turkey and Algeria, comes roughly a month after dozens of Palestinians were killed during protests along the Gaza border.

Prior to voting on the full text, the assembly voted on a U.S. amendment to condemn Hamas. While the measure received support from a narrow majority, it did not earn two-thirds support, and failed.

The assembly went on to approve the original resolution.

U.S. Ambassador Nikki HaleyNimrata (Nikki) HaleyIn midst of political violence, America greatly needs unity Trump prefers woman for UN post, interviewing 5 candidates Mary Kissel expected to join State Department MORE voted against the motion, and sharply denounced the vote as "morally bankrupt" in a statement.

Haley expressed optimism, however, about the number of countries that supported the U.S. amendment to condemn Hamas.

“We had more countries on the right side than the wrong side. By their votes, those countries recognized that peace will only be achieved when realities are recognized, including Israel’s legitimate security interests, and the need to end Hamas’ terrorism,” she said.

The resolution attributes violence and casualties since March 30 to Israeli forces. It also condemns the use of force by Israeli forces against Palestinian civilians, and calls for Israel to open “access into and out of the Gaza Strip.”

Violence in Gaza escalated in mid-May, when Israeli forces killed at least 60 Palestinians. The killings coincided with the opening of the new U.S. embassy in Jerusalem.

The Trump administration has uniformly blamed Hamas for the violence. Haley also applauded Israeli forces for their "restraint" in the wake of the bloodshed.

"No country in this chamber would act with more restraint than Israel has," Haley said at a May 15 U.N. Security Council meeting. "In fact, the record of several countries here today suggest that they would be less restrained."

Haley's comments came as the U.S. blocked a Security Council resolution calling for a probe into the violence.