US Ambassador Haley Leads Defense of Israel as UN Security Council Rejects Condemnation of Hamas
US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley excoriated the members of the UN Security Council who opposed a draft American statement on Wednesday that condemned the barrage of rocket attacks on Israel by Palestinian terrorists in Gaza.
In a brief, impassioned speech at an emergency meeting of the Security Council called by the US to condemn the terrorist attacks on Israel, Haley stated, “You might think the rest of the the UN Security Council would join us in condemning Hamas, but because this attack involves Israel, the standard is different.”
The US draft was blocked earlier on Wednesday by Kuwait, depriving American diplomats of the unanimous consent of all 15 members that is required for a Security Council statement to be issued.
“Apparently, some council members did not think Hamas launching rockets qualifies as terrorism,” Haley remarked.
Haley emphasized to the Security Council that terrorists from Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad had “fired at least 70 — seven zero — rockets and mortars from Gaza into Israel, aiming to cause as much civilian death and destruction as possible.”
“The mere fact that one of the rockets landed on a kindergarten playground is all the evidence we need of the intent of the terrorists,” she said.
“Who among us would accept 70 rockets launched into your country?” Haley challenged. “We all know the answer to that. No one would.”
The US ambassador argued that the latest round of Hamas violence was further proof of the Islamist organization’s commitment to the elimination of Israel. “Hamas’ stated purpose is the destruction of Israel,” Haley said, a goal demonstrated by its rocket attacks, its continued construction of underground tunnels to launch terrorist operations against Israel, and its determination to provoke an Israeli response sufficient to draw international condemnation.
“All of these three acts are an indivisible part of a single strategy,” Haley declared.
Haley roundly rejected Kuwait’s proposal for an international force to be deployed in Gaza. “Gazans don’t need protection from external sources, they need protection from Hamas,” she stated. “Hamas is putting Palestinians in grave danger with indiscriminate attacks that inevitably bring about a response.”
Haley slammed as “outrageous” the Security Council’s “failure to condemn Hamas rocket attacks against Israeli civilians” just days after the UN Human Rights Council voted to send a team “to investigate Israeli actions taken in self-defense.”
“Palestinians deserve a better life,” Haley said. “That can only happen if we acknowledge and reject the terrorist actions of Hamas and if we encourage more responsible Palestinian leadership.”
The French and British representatives at the parley in New York echoed Haley’s condemnation of the attacks on Israel, but notably avoided the US ambassador’s focus on the role of Hamas. Kuwait’s ambassador insisted that the Palestinian issue and Israel’s attempts to “Judaize” Jerusalem were the “root cause of the conflict in the region,” while the Palestinian representative took the opportunity to slam the “provocative and unlawful transfer” of the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Israel’s UN ambassador, Danny Danon, noted that it was not often that the council was called into session in response to an attack on Israel. “Today’s meeting marks a concrete step in the right direction,” he said.
Describing the latest wave of attacks, Danon pointed out that “Hamas terrorists even set fire to the Kerem Shalom border crossing — a border crossing designated to bring food and humanitarian goods into Gaza.”
Danon called on the Security Council to pass a new resolution designating Hamas as a terrorist organization, “just as you did with Al Qaeda and ISIS.”
Picking up a sheaf of papers containing the draft Kuwaiti resolution urging an international force in Gaza, Danon demanded to know why the text contained no mention of Hamas.”If Israeli children are not allowed to sleep quietly at night, then the terrorists of Gaza will feel the might of the IDF,” the Israeli representative warned.