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U.N. councils call for Palestinian protection force



UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – The UN Security Council will hold talks on Monday on a Kuwait-drafted resolution condemning Israeli violence against Palestinian civilians and calling for "international protection mission" in the Occupied Territories.

The draft resolution, which was seen by Reuters on Friday, calls on UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to report within 30 days on his adoption of "ways and means to ensure the security, protection and well-being of the Palestinian civilian population".

The United States, an Israeli ally, is likely to veto when they are put to vote by Kuwait, diplomats said. A resolution needs nine votes in favor and no veto by the United States, Britain, France, Russia or China.

The US Mission to the United Nations did not immediately respond to a request for comment. It was unclear when the resolution could be put to the vote.

The push for a resolution comes after the bloodiest day for Palestinians since the 201

4 Gaza war. Dozens of Palestinians were killed on Monday in shootouts and tear gas by Israeli troops on the Gaza-Israel border, the Palestinian Ministry of Health said the United States opened its new embassy in the embattled Jerusalem.

Israel has said that it acts in self-defense to protect its borders and communities. Both Israel and the US said that Hamas, which governs Gaza, instigated violence, a claim that was rejected by the militant group opposed to the existence of Israel.

Israel's UN Ambassador Danny Danon dismissed the Security Council draft resolution as a "shameful" proposal "to support Hamas's war crimes against Israel and the people of Gaza sent to protect Hamas's rule."

During a Security Council on Tuesday, US Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, accused Hamas of "incitement to violence for years, long before the United States decided to relocate our embassy."

On Monday, the US blocked a statement by the Council written by Kuwait that had expressed "indignation and grief over the assassination of Palestinian civilians" and called for an independent and transparent investigation, diplomats said.

Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Arrangement of Jonathan Oatis


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