Members of the U.N. Security Council voted unanimously late Friday to condemn "acts of violence" by Israeli forces in the Old City in Jerusalem that resulted in the deaths of at least 20 Palestinians.
The vote was taken after five days of negotiations in which the Palestine Liberation Organization, backed by Arab and other non-aligned nations, sought to condemn Israel in the strongest terms and demanded U.N. protection for Palestinians in Israeli-occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.It was the first time in eight years that the United States voted to censure Israel. It condemned Israel in June 1982, when that country's armed forces invaded Lebanon.
The United States initiated its own resolution condemning its ally, but demanded also that the Security Council blame the violence on both sides, the rock-throwing Palestinians as well as the Israeli troops.
The text adopted was a compromise reflecting demands by non-aligned countries as well as the five permanent members of the council - the United States, the Soviet Union, China, France and Britain.
The resolution expressed "alarm" by the council at the violence committed by Palestinians as well as Israeli forces at the "Al Haram Al Shareef (the Temple Mount) and other Holy places in Jerusalem" on Monday.
This satisfied a demand by the United States for a balanced condemnation. Washington had threatened to veto any document condemning only Israel.