Nikki Haley blocks UN Palestinian rights statement as Israeli troops kill journalist in press vest.

The United States for a second week in a row blocked a UN Security Council statement supporting the right of Palestinians to “demonstrate peacefully” and endorsing Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ call for an independent investigation into deadly protests in Gaza.

Palestinian UN Ambassador Riyad Mansour told reporters at UN headquarters in New York on Friday evening that 14 of the 15 council nations agreed to the statement, but the United States, Israel’s closest ally, objected. —…

Nikki Haley’s move to block a recognition of Palestinian’s rights was opposed by the Palestinian ambassador to the UN. Trump’s mid-east envoy, Jason Greenblatt said Gazans should obey Israeli commands to keep out of the half a kilometer wide strip of Gaza near the border.

The Israeli ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon claimed Palestinians were using “children as human shields”. Danon’s sudden concern for the children of Gaza is perplexing, since he has previously advocated for wanton bombing of Gaza, where fully half the population are children. In 2011, Danon said Israel should be “deleting a neighborhood in Gaza” to retaliate for Hamas’ rockets. In 2014, after an Israeli soldier was kidnapped, Danon said the IDF should “start leveling Gaza”.

Two Palestinians succumbed early Saturday to injuries sustained in a protest on the border fence with Israel a day earlier, including a journalist shot by Israeli forces despite apparently wearing a vest that clearly marked him as press.

Video and photos of Yasser Murtaja, 31, being treated after sustaining a bullet wound to the lower abdomen, including one shot by Agence France-Presse news agency, show him wearing a blue and white protective jacket with “PRESS” emblazoned on the front.

Murtaja, who worked for a Gaza-based news agency called Ain Media, was one of six Palestinian journalists shot, according to the Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate, which said they were all clearly identifiable as media. The Israeli military has maintained that the shooting into the border crowds is carefully targeted. It could not immediately provide a comment on how six journalists could have been shot. —…

Al-Jazeera reported that seven other journalists were shot by Israeli troops, including Khalil Abu Athira below:

After last week’s Land Day protest, where Israeli troops shot over 750 Palestinians protesters, killing 19, the IDF officially claimed in a tweet that it “knew where every bullet landed”. The tweet was later deleted.

A scene from the protest today that terrified Israel’s nuclear armed military into shooting hundreds of Palestinians:

Nikki Haley has consistently worked to advance Trump’s bellicose agenda in the Middle-East. Some suspect her disregard for Palestinian rights is cultivated to further her political ambitions. Last year, she worked to undermine the Iran nuclear deal which had been negotiated by the Obama administration. In this effort, she was supported by former John Bolton, who has now been installed as National Security Advisor:

Haley wasn’t alone. The fingerprints of former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton, whose access to Trump was recently limited by chief of staff John Kelly, were also on Trump’s Friday address in the form of a warning that Trump, who opted not to push for steps that could undo the nuclear agreement, could still cancel the deal “at any time.”

The line was added to Trump’s speech after Bolton, despite Kelly’s recent edict, reached the president by phone on Thursday afternoon from Las Vegas, where Bolton was visiting with Republican megadonor Sheldon Adelson.

— @subirgrewal