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Calls launched at UN Security Council for protecting Palestinians

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Bulk00011WASHINGTON (PNIC):-Kuwait on Tuesday circulated a watered-down draft UN Security Council resolution on setting up an international protection mission for the Palestinians in a bid to win European support in a vote expected this week, diplomats said.

The council could hold a vote, possibly on Thursday, on the draft resolution that is expected to face a US veto.

Kuwait, a non-permanent council member that represents Arab countries, is hoping to win a high number of votes in favor of its proposal to highlight Washington’s isolation on the Israeli-Palestinian issue.

The revised draft drops an outright demand for an international protection mission and instead requests that UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres present recommendations.

The new text “calls for the consideration of measures to guarantee the safety and protection of the Palestinian civilian population” in the occupied Palestinian territories and the Gaza Strip.

It requests that Guterres present a report within 60 days on proposals for the protection of Palestinian civilians including the establishment of an international mission.

France and Britain, two veto-wielding council members, have complained that the draft resolution lacked details on the scope and objective of the proposed protection mission.

The United States, meanwhile, claimed that the measure was biased against Israel during two expert-level meetings held last week, according to diplomatic sources.

Israeli Ambassador Danny Danon has slammed the proposed resolution as “shameful” and claimed it was designed to help Gaza’s rulers Hamas.

Kuwait put forward the draft resolution ten days ago after Israeli forced killed dozens of Palestinians during protests on the Gaza border and the United States opened its embassy in Occupied Jerusalem.

Negotiations however have been tough-going with the Europeans and Africans pressing for more information on the proposed protection mission, according to diplomats.

Diplomats have said the Palestinians may turn to the UN General Assembly if the draft resolution on protection fails to win Security Council backing.

The council is due to meet Wednesday at the request of the United States to discuss alleged Palestinian rocket firings on Israel from blockaded Gaza.

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