US Blocks UN Vote Criticizing Israel for West Bank Killings

US Envoy Said Mentioning Israel Was a 'Red Line'

A statement by the UN Security Council deploring the deaths of innocent Palestinians during Israeli military operations in the West Bank ended up blocked by the United States today because it mentioned Israel by name.

Jordan was said to be pressing the bill to be stronger, saying “deploring” the deaths wasn’t enough, while the United States insisted that the bill could deplore the deaths in general, but not mention that they were caused by Israeli troops, nor indeed mention Israel at all.

UN undersecretary for political affairs Jeffrey Feltman warned the rising death toll in the West Bank was “alarming,” saying Israel needs to show restraint while searching for three kidnapped teens and to “avoid punishing individuals for offences they have not personally committed.”

That’s likely a foreign concept in Israel, where collective punishment of the Arab minority is such a default reaction that top Israeli cabinet ministers are openly calling for the government to shut down all electricity to all Arab towns in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in retaliation for the kidnappings.

The violent military crackdown in the West Bank has come with cooperation from the Palestinian Authority, and is fueling growing protests among Palestinian civilians against the PA forces as well.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.