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    UN panel adopts measure on Palestinian children

    By Reuters



    UNITED NATIONS - An Egyptian-sponsored resolution
    demanding that Israel protect Palestinian children
    was adopted by a UN General Assembly panel on
    Thursday, while a corresponding measure on Israeli
    children was postponed until next week.

    Israel, the target of hundreds of critical UN resolutions, on Tuesday introduced its first assembly draft in more
    than a quarter century, mirroring the Egyptian measure.

    But diplomats said chances of approval were slim. It would condemn attacks on Israeli children by Palestinian suicide bombers.

    The Egyptian draft resolution was passed by a vote of 88 to 4 but with 58 abstentions. The United States, Israel, Micronesia and the Marshall Islands voted against it, while the 15 European Union nations and Canada were among the abstentions.

    Israel's deputy UN ambassador, Arye Mekel, told
    the committee the resolution was one sided because "we believe that all the world's children are deserving of equal protection, including Israeli and Palestinian children."

    But a Palestinian representative said children in the West Bank and Gaza fell into a special category as they had lived under occupation for the last 40 years.

    The vote was tantamount to adoption in the full
    191-nation General Assembly as every UN member
    has a seat on the panel.

    Israel's relations with the United Nations have
    been stormy since the 1967 Middle East war,
    with about two dozen assembly resolutions
    criticizing the Jewish state adopted each
    year.

    Most of them have been ignored by Israel, which
    maintains that Arab actions against the Jewish
    state have been brushed aside or condemned only
    in the most general terms.

    But it wasn't always that way. The General
    Assembly, the body that dominated the United
    Nations at its inception, voted in November
    1947 to partition Palestine into a Jewish and
    an Arab state, a move that led to Israel's
    creation a year later.

    In 1967, however, Israel's faith in the United
    Nations was severely jolted and it has more or
    less remained that way. Egypt put soldiers in
    the Sinai Peninsula and the United Nations, at
    Cairo's demand, withdrew a peacekeeping force
    from the Sinai.


    The ensuing 1967 Six Day War left Israel in
    control not only of Sinai and the Gaza Strip
    but also of the West Bank and the Syrian Golan
    Heights after Jordan and Syria joined Egypt in
    the battle.
 
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