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US isolated defending Israel on Palestine UNSC resolutions

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Washington, June 2: The US was completely isolated defending Israel during the voting on two resolutions on Palestine, one proposed by Kuwait and a counter-motion put forward by it.

The unusual asymmetry in two consecutive votes on Friday came about because even its closest allies abandoned the US while its Permanent Representative Nikki Haley stood defiantly vetoing a resolution put forward by Kuwait and proposing a countermeasure that received only her vote.

Hamas was at the heart of the stand-off, with the US demanding that the organisation should also be condemned.

The resolution drafted by Kuwait sought to condemn what it called the disproportionate use of force by Israel, including the firing of live ammunition by its forces on Palestinian protesters last month near the border with Gaza.

It received 10 votes, while the sole vote against it by the veto-wielding US killed it as Ethiopia, Netherlands, Poland and Britain abstained.

Hailey blamed the “terrorist group Hamas” for the conditions in Gaza and said the resolution was one-sided as it blamed only Israel.

She proposed the counter resolution that described Hamas as a terrorist group and condemned the indiscriminate firing of rockets by Palestinian militants in Gaza towards Israel.

The resolution received only her vote, while Kuwait, Russia and Bolivia voted against it and the remaining 11 countries abstained.

Haley said: “It is now completely clear that the UN is hopelessly biased against Israel. The US will not allow such bias.”

Kuwait’s Permanent Representative Mansour Ayyad Alotaibi spent several days negotiating with Council members to come up with a veto-proof resolution on the Palestinian protests that have resulted in 119 deaths since March from Israeli action.

While he managed to get enough direct support for it, he could not get the US to give up its veto.

In contrast, Haley did not consult other members of the Council before proposing the US resolution.

France’s Permanent representative Francois Delattre said it was brought to a vote without any negotiations and did not reflect a balanced approach to the Palestinian conflict.

Alotaibi said that the message from the Council after the US veto was that Israel, which occupied Palestinian territories, was exempt from international law.

srael’s Permanent Representative Danny Danon countered that the Kuwaiti resolution sought to give the Hamas – a “terrorist organisation” – the Council’s stamp of approval by not mentioning its role in the conflict.(IANS)

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Nine drug addicts killed in Afghanistan shooting

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Kabul, Nine drug addicts were shot to death in an overnight shooting in a non-residential area in western side of Kabul, Afghanistan, the capital police said on Sunday.

“The shooting occurred at side of Qurugh Mountain in Police District 6 roughly at 8:00 p.m. on Saturday. Personnel of Kabul Criminal Investigation Police Department shifted the bodies to Forensic Science Service Department near Kabul University shortly after the shooting was reported,” Ferdaus Faramarz from Kabul police told Xinhua.

One arrest was made after the shooting and the motive behind the incident remained unclear. Further investigation is on, police added.

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31 civilians killed in Yemen airstrike: UN

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An airstrike in the Yemeni northeastern province of al-Jawf has killed at least 31 civilians and injured 12 others, the UN humanitarian coordinator for Yemen said in a statement on Sunday.

“We share our deep condolences with the families of those killed and we pray for the speedy recovery of everyone who has been injured in these terrible strikes,” Lise Grande said in the statement obtained by Xinhua.

“Under international humanitarian law parties which resort to force are obligated to protect civilians. Five years into this conflict and belligerents are still failing to uphold this responsibility,” she added.

The victims were killed in the airstrike on Saturday that targeted a gathering of people at the site where a Tornado warplane of the Saudi-led coalition crashed in al-Masloub district in the southwest of al-Jawf, according to a local tribal source.

The victims were members of three relative families, the source said on condition of anonymity. The strike came hours after the Houthi rebels claimed to have shot down the Tornado warplane.

Meanwhile, the Saudi-led coalition confirmed that a Tornado warplane crashed in al-Jawf during an operation to support Yemen’s government forces. The coalition held Houthis responsible for the lives and safety of the plane’s crew, according to a statement carried by the Saudi-owned Al Arabiya television.

The Saudi-led coalition has been fighting the Iran-allied Houthi rebels since its intervention in the Yemeni conflict in March 2015 to support the internationally-recognized government of Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

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Japan confirms 70 new coronavirus cases from cruise ship

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Toky, Another 70 people aboard the virus-hit Diamond Princess cruise ship quarantined in Japan’s Yokohama have been tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19), bringing the total to 355 cases, Health Minister Katsunobu Kato confirmed on Sunday.

The health ministry said that the 70 new cases came out of 289 people tested, bringing the total number of those who have undergone tests to 1,219, Japan Times reported.

The cruise ship arrived in Japan earlier this month with more than 3,700 passengers and crew members from more than 50 countries and regions.

With global attention increasingly focused on the situation, the US Embassy sent a letter on Saturday to Americans aboard saying that a chartered aircraft, set to arrive in Japan on Sunday, would repatriate those who wished to leave the ship.

The US aircraft is set to depart from Haneda Airport in Tokyo on Monday, according to Japanese official japan will also cooperate with other countries that make similar arrangements to evacuate their citizens on the ship, Japanese government officials said.

More than a week has passed since the cruise ship was put under a two-week quarantine at Yokohama port after a passenger who disembarked in Hong Kong was found to be infected with COVID-19, the pneumonia-causing coronavirus.

Japan’s health ministry had initially planned to keep all of the passengers and crew confined on the vessel until Wednesday, when the quarantine is scheduled to end.

But the ministry decided last Thursday to let passengers 80 and older, as well as their traveling companions, leave before the end of the quarantine after they were screened for infection.

Those with pre-existing conditions or who were staying in cabins without windows were prioritized for disembarkation.

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