The UN General Assembly overwhelmingly passed a resolution on Friday night condemning the Israeli air strike against the civilian population of Beit Hanoun which killed 20 Palestinians and wounded dozens last week.


Representatives of 156 countries voted in favor of the resolution, seven objected and six abstained.

The United States, Israel, Australia, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru and Palau voted against the resolution, where as Canada, Ivory Coast, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu, abstained.

The Palestinian ambassador to the UN, Riad Mansour, welcomed the resolution and called for "Israeli war criminals" to be put on trial for the shelling.

What has been noticeable in the vote is a unanimous support of the resolution among the European envoys.

European states succeeded in changing the original proposal's language presented by Qatar, replacing the condemnation of the shelling with an expression of sorrow over the incident, and a call on Palestinians to halt home-made Qassam shells fire at Israeli targets along the Gaza Strip had also been added.

The UN general assembly’s resolution comes few days after the UN Security Council failed to pass a similar resolution because of an American Veto, regarding the attack as self defense that Israel is entitled to.

The number of American Vetos that hinders passing resolutions in favor of the Palestinians exceeds 40.

Israel's ambassador to the United Nations Dan Gillerman walked out of the session in protest, saying his words were falling on deaf ears and that he was better off holding a nearby press conference.

Prior to the session, Gillerman said this session is a "humiliation and cynical exploitation of the UN, and whoever lends a hand to this decision is lending a hand to terror."

On the other hand, John Bolton, the United States ambassador to the UN, warned against approving the proposal, saying it would undermine the organization's relevance.

"Such a decision will only strengthen the widespread doubts regarding the UN, and lead many to conclude that the global organization cannot fulfill a role in the region," said Bolton.

On Wednesday, the UN Human Rights council, based in Geneva, called for an inquiry into the Beit Hanoun killings.

Bolton slammed the decision saying it focuses on Israel and forgets others.

"Since its inception, the new Human Rights Council has focused solely on Israel while completely ignoring human rights abuses in Darfur, Burma, and North Korea," said Bolton.