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On Gaza Here Is Kuwait's Final Blue Draft Resolution That US Haley Says Will Veto, 7 pm

By Matthew Russell Lee, 14/5 Video, Scope

UNITED NATIONS, May 31– On Gaza, Kuwait on May 31 said there would be a vote on its draft resolution in the UN Security Council at 6 pm. Kuwait's draft, as obtaind by Inner City Press, is below. Then there was talk of the US invoking the so-called 24 hour rule under which a draft must be finalized - "in blue" - for 24 hours before a vote. But as UK Ambassador Karen Pierce told the press, that rule is not always followed. Periscope video here. After 4 pm, Kuwait's Ambassador cam and told the press that the US said it would be proposing amendments, so Kuwait was putting the vote back to 3 pm on June 1, the first day of Russia's Security Council presidency. Now, US Ambassador Nikki Haley has said the US will veto; there's talk of a 7 pm vote. Here is Kuwait's "blue" draft, as obtained by Inner City Press: 31 May 2018 – Draft – Rev 3

The Security Council,

Recalling all of its relevant resolutions, including, inter alia, resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973), 605 (1987), 904 (1994), 1397 (2002), 1544 (2004), 1515 (2003), 1850 (2008), 1860 (2009), and 2334 (2016),

Recalling also its Presidential Statement 2014/13 of 28 July 2014,

Bearing in mind the letter (S/2015/809) of 21 October 2015 by the Secretary-General,

Recalling also its resolutions on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, including its resolutions on children and armed conflict, including, inter alia, resolutions 1894 (2009) and 2225 (2015), as well as its relevant presidential statements, and its resolutions on the protection of medical and humanitarian personnel and on the protection of journalists, media professionals and associated personnel in armed conflicts, including, inter alia, resolutions 2286 (2016) and 2222 (2015), as well as its other relevant resolutions and presidential statements,

Reaffirming the obligation to respect and ensure respect for international humanitarian law in all circumstances in accordance with Article 1 of the Geneva Conventions,

Expressing its grave concern at the escalation of violence and tensions and the deterioration of the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, in particular since 30 March 2018, and its deep alarm at the loss of civilian lives and the high number of casualties among Palestinian civilians, particularly in the Gaza Strip, including casualties among children, caused by the Israeli forces,

Condemning all acts of violence against civilians, including acts of terror, as well as all acts of provocation, incitement and destruction,

Reaffirming the right to peaceful assembly and protest, freedom of expression and of association,

Emphasizing the need to pursue measures of accountability, stressing in this regard the importance of ensuring independent and transparent investigations in accordance with international standards,

Alarmed at the exacerbation of the dire humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip, and stressing the need to achieve a sustainable solution to this crisis in line with international law,

Stressing the particular impact that armed conflict has on women and children, including as refugees and displaced persons, as well as on other civilians who may have specific vulnerabilities, including persons with disabilities and older persons, and stressing the need for the Security Council and Member States to strengthen further the protection of civilians,

Recalling that a lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can only be achieved by peaceful means in accordance with international law and the relevant United Nations resolutions and through credible and direct negotiations,

Stressing that the Gaza Strip constitutes an integral part of the Palestinian territory occupied in 1967,
Reaffirming the right of all States in the region to live in peace within secure and internationally recognized borders,

1. Calls for full respect by all parties for international human rights law and international humanitarian law, including in regards to the protection of the civilian population, and reiterates the need to take appropriate steps to ensure the safety and well-being of civilians and ensure their protection, as well as to ensure accountability for all violations;

2. Deplores the use of any excessive, disproportionate and indiscriminate force by the Israeli forces against Palestinian civilians in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and particularly in the Gaza Strip, including the use of live ammunition against civilian protesters, including children, as well as medical personnel and journalists, and expresses its grave concern at the loss of innocent lives;

3. Demands that Israel, the occupying Power,  refrain from such actions and fully abide by its legal obligations and responsibilities under the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 12 August 1949 ;

4. Deplores any actions that could provoke violence and endanger civilian lives and calls on all actors to ensure that protests remain peaceful;

5. Deplores the firing of rockets from the Gaza Strip against Israeli civilian areas;

6. Calls for urgent steps to ensure an immediate, durable and fully respected ceasefire;

7. Calls for the exercise of maximum restraint and calm by all parties and the need for immediate and significant steps to stabilize the situation and to reverse negative trends on the ground;

8. Reaffirms its willingness to respond to situations of armed conflict where civilians are being targeted or humanitarian assistance to civilians is being deliberately obstructed, including through the consideration of appropriate measures that the Security Council  may take in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations;

9. Calls for the consideration of measures to guarantee the safety and protection of the Palestinian civilian population in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in the Gaza Strip;

10. Calls also for immediate steps towards ending the closure and the restrictions imposed by Israel on movement and access into and out of the Gaza Strip, including through the sustained opening of the crossing points of the Gaza Strip for the flow of humanitarian aid, commercial goods and persons in accordance with international law, including as it pertains to legitimate security requirements;

11. Demands that all parties cooperate with medical and humanitarian personnel to allow and facilitate unimpeded access to the civilian population, and calls for the cessation of all forms of violence and intimidation directed against medical and humanitarian personnel;

12. Urges the provision of immediate and unimpeded humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian civilian population in the Gaza Strip, bearing in mind critical medical, food, water and fuel needs, and urges increased support to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, recognizing the vital role of the Agency, alongside other UN agencies and humanitarian organizations, in providing humanitarian and emergency assistance, notably in the Gaza Strip;

13. Encourages tangible steps towards intra-Palestinian reconciliation, including in support of the mediation efforts of Egypt, and concrete steps to reunite the Gaza Strip and the West Bank under the legitimate Palestinian government and ensure its effective functioning in the Gaza Strip; 

14. Welcomes and urges further engagement by the Secretary-General and the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process to assist, in cooperation with concerned partners, in the efforts to immediately de-escalate the situation and address urgent infrastructure, humanitarian, and economic development needs, including through the implementation of projects endorsed by the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee;

15. Requests the Secretary-General to examine the present situation and to submit a written report, as soon as possible, but not later than 60 days from the adoption of the present resolution, containing, inter alia, his proposals on ways and means for ensuring the safety, protection and well-being of the Palestinian civilian population under Israeli occupation, including, inter alia, recommendations regarding an international protection mechanism;

16. Calls for renewed and urgent efforts to create the conditions necessary to launch credible negotiations on all final status issues to achieve, without delay, an end to the Israeli occupation that began in 1967 and a comprehensive, just and lasting comprehensive peace based on the vision of a region where two democratic States, Israel and Palestine, live side by side in peace with secure and recognized borders, on the basis of the relevant United Nations resolutions, the Madrid terms of reference, including the principle of land for peace, the Arab Peace Initiative and the Quartet Roadmap, as called for in resolution 2334 (2016) and its other relevant resolutions;

17. Decides to remain seized of the matter."
Meanwhile down hall, increasingly marginal UN Secretary General Antonio "Deep Concern" Guterres was claiming victory on a reform for which he provided no pricetag; his spokesman ran off the podium when Inner City Press asked how much it would cost. Then Guterres refused to answer Inner City Press, video here. We'll have more about all this.
Inner City Press back on May 14 asked the Ambassadors to the UN of Palestine and Kuwait if the emergency UN Security Council meeting they were requested about Israeli sniper fire into Gaza would occur on May 14, or the next day, May 15. Video here. They replied it would be on the morning of May 15 (Alamy photos here), and that a draft Security Council Press Statement had been distributed, with a silence procedure until 6 pm. On that, silence was broken by the US, which just after 3 pm on May 29 announced, with the Kuwaiti introduced resolution still not put to the vote, that "This afternoon, the United States called for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss the latest attacks on Israel out of the Gaza Strip by Hamas and other militants. We expect the meeting to take place tomorrow afternoon. 'The recent attacks out of Gaza are the largest we have seen since 2014. Mortars fired by Palestinian militants hit civilian infrastructure, including a kindergarten. The Security Council should be outraged and respond to this latest bout of violence directed at innocent Israeli civilians, and the Palestinian leadership needs to be held accountable for what they’re allowing to happen in Gaza,' said Ambassador Haley." Tomorrow would be May 30, which coincides with a "sold out" Israeli Mission event, "'Israel at 70: Global Impact Through Innovation.' The reception will be held in the United Nations visitors lobby followed by the event in Trusteeship Council Chamber.  Due to security reasons, please respond to this email confirming your attendance by 1:00 pm [May 29.]" High security all around. US President Donald J. Trump on May 18 met UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, listing in advance Syria and North Korea on the agenda, not Gaza. On May 15 Inner City Press asked Guterres' spokesman Farhan Haq about Friday's meeting - the UN does not anticipate any Q&A - and why Guterres has not set up a UN investigation. From the UN transcript: Inner City Press: the White House has put out a, I guess, a preview of the Secretary-General's meeting with President Trump on Friday and said, listing two countries, not the Middle East, Palestine or Israel, but listing Syria and North Korea as topics of mutual concern.  Does the Secretary-General… also reform an efficiency, but does the Secretary-General intend to raise this topic during his meeting Friday?  Because it seems from the listing that maybe the administration doesn't view the UN as… its role as useful on this topic as it does, apparently, on Syria and North Korea?

Deputy Spokesman:  Well, we will bring up a range of topics of mutual concern.  We will provide those details following the meeting on Friday.

Question:  Is it your understanding if there will be a Q-and-A session of the President and António Guterres?

Deputy Spokesman:  I'm not aware of that at this stage, but if there is one, we will provide the details... Inner City Press: there have been various calls in the Council for transparent and independent investigation of killings in Gaza.  You were saying that the Secretary-General, you know, is calling for such an investigation; but as many have pointed out, he has the power to set up such an investigation.  Can you explain his reasoning, at least thus far, in not doing so?  And also, there had been a request that he provide a report on the implementation of the resolution in December 2016 on settlements, and is he aware of that and when will he do that?  Those are two separate questions, investigation and implementation.

Deputy Spokesman:  Well, first of all, regarding the question of investigations, we made clear repeatedly now that we want there to be credible investigations.  Ultimately, what we are doing at this stage is pressing for the authorities, the authorities responsible, in other words, in Israel, in Gaza and elsewhere to mount credible independent investigations.  We will have to evaluate whether that happens and whether the results are satisfactory.

Question:  When you say elsewhere, what do you mean — when you are calling on an investigation by Israel, Gaza and elsewhere?

Deputy Spokesman:  And also the Palestinian Authority, which is present also, as you know, in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Question:  But, what is his reasoning not doing it himself, I guess, is what I'm saying?  There are many Council members that have said that he has it within his power to do it.  Is there some legal reason?  Is it a political judgment?

Deputy Spokesman:  Well, you're aware of the process by which UN investigative bodies get mandates, and that is something that we would need to be appraised of if that were a consideration down the line.  But, at this stage, our focus is seeing what the authorities themselves can do."
on May 15, Kuwait said it will circulate a draft resolution on protection of civilians, modeled after a Norwegian one. France's Ambassador Francois Delattre spoke too, without taking questions. (His ambassador in Burundi Laurent Delahousse, meanwhile, replied to news of corpses in the river with one word: "Hippos?") Inner City Press was delayed since it is required by the UN of Antonio Guterres and his Global Communicator Alison Smale to only enter, unlike other UN correspondents many of whom rarely come in, rarely ask question and publish little, through the UN's Tourists Entrance, which was jammed and mis-managed on May 15. Periscope video - required to be turned off during the mis-management - here. We'll have more on this. Inner City Press asked, if as expected the US breaks silence, that they return to the Council stakeout.
Kuwait, Sweden, France, Bolivia, Netherlands, Peru, Kazakhstan, Equatorial Guinea, Cote d'Ivoire and China have requested from Secretary General Antonio Guterres, traveling in Austria before meeting US President Donald Trump on May 17, that Guterres prepare and submit a report on implementation of UNSC Resolution 2334 of December 2016, on which the US (previous administration) abstained.  Also, "Kuwait has requested an open meeting of the Security Council under the agenda item: The Situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question, in light of the developments on the ground and the killing of innocent civilians, with reports putting the number of Palestinians killed at over 50.  Kuwait has requested for the meeting to be convened tomorrow morning, Tuesday May 15." Also on Gaza, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on April 5 said in a statement, "I reiterate my call on all concerned to refrain from any act that could lead to further violence or place civilians in harm's way, especially children." Then he prepared to leave for six days in China, just as the previous Friday he was an another UNannounced trip to his home in Lisbon. Now he is in Vienna. On April 20, after Palestine's Riyad Mansour, flanked by the Ambassadors of Tunisia, Kuwait and of the Arab League, conducted his Friday stakeout, Inner City Press asked if there has been any progress on requesting an inquiry by the UN Human Rights Council, and if Mansour had any comment on Mike Pompeo's upcoming trip to Jerusalem. Periscope video here. Mansour said he was not the right person to ask about Pence, and that some process is underway in Geneva. We'll see. On April 13, after Palestine's Riyad Mansour, flanked by the Ambassadors of Kuwait and of the Arab League, responded to Inner City Press' question about why Guterres hadn't followed his own advice and set up an inquiry, Inner City Press put the question to Guterres himself. He dismissed it with a wave of his hand. Vine video here. On April 20, after Guterres' spokesman refused to answer Inner City Press on who Guterres was taking with him to the UN Security Council retreat in Sweden (other than Izumi Nakamitsu, which Inner City Press on its own reported, on Syria and perhaps North Korea), Inner City Press asked Mansour if he knew if Guterres took envoy Mladenov to Sweden. Mansour replied that Mladenov would brief the open Council meeting on April 26 - and that Palestine is now going forward in the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. We'll have more on this. Inner City Press Photos on Alamy. On Sunday, April 8, with Guterres issuing statements praising China but little to nothing on any other topic, the International Criminal Court Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda issued this: "It is with grave concern that I note the violence and deteriorating situation in the Gaza Strip in the context of recent mass demonstrations. Since 30 March 2018, at least 27 Palestinians have been reportedly killed by the Israeli Defence Forces, with over a thousand more injured, many, as a result of shootings using live ammunition and rubber-bullets. Violence against civilians - in a situation such as the one prevailing in Gaza – could constitute crimes under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (“ICC” or “the Court”), as could the use of civilian presence for the purpose of shielding military activities. I remind all parties that the situation in Palestine is under preliminary examination by my Office. While a preliminary examination is not an investigation, any new alleged crime committed in the context of the situation in Palestine may be subjected to my Office’s scrutiny. This applies to the events of the past weeks and to any future incident. I am aware that the demonstrations in the Gaza Strip are planned to continue further. My Office will continue to closely watch the situation and will record any instance of incitement or resort to unlawful force. I urge all those concerned to refrain from further escalating this tragic situation. Any person who incites or engages in acts of violence including by ordering, requesting, encouraging or contributing in any other manner to the commission of crimes within ICC's jurisdiction is liable to prosecution before the Court, with full respect for the principle of complementarity. The resort to violence must stop." At 6 pm on April 6 Mansour returned with Tunisia's Ambassador and said the US had broken silence and blocked the statement. 12 Minute Video here.


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