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November 19, 2018 3:51 pm

Iran-Backed Palestinian Terror Groups Targeted Israeli Civilians During Recent Gaza Flare-Up, US Envoy Haley Tells UN Security Council

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US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley speaks to the Security Council. Photo: US Mission to UN.

The recent spate of rocket attacks against Israel conducted by Gaza-based Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists was raised at the UN Security Council on Monday, in the context of broader remarks by US Ambassador Nikki Haley on Iran’s continuing malign influence across the region.

“Yes, Israel launched airstrikes on military posts, weapons depots, and intelligence assets in Gaza,” Haley told the Security Council meeting on the Middle East. “But it did so in response to over 400 rockets and mortars that were fired indiscriminately from Gaza into Israel.”

Continued Haley: “Neighborhoods were targeted. A bus was bombed by an anti-tank missile. Families were forced into bomb shelters to escape the barrage.”

Haley added that “even if you accept Hamas’ excuse that it launched its missiles in response to an Israeli covert operation, you cannot escape the fact that the Gaza militants targeted civilians in response.”

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“Their actions were not actions of a nation exercising self-defense, but of a terrorist group seizing a pretext to kill civilians,” she said. “You also cannot escape the fact that the group responsible for the rocket attacks — Palestinian Islamic Jihad — is an Iranian supported group. The PIJ is yet another terrorist proxy that Iran calls on to stoke violence and instability in the region. And these missing facts are crucial.”

Haley accused the Security Council of ignoring other serious threats in the Middle East because of its focus on the Israeli-Palestinian dimension.

“One has in recent months come to the doorstep of Europe and the United States — that is the continued evidence of increased international terrorist activity by the Iranian regime,” the ambassador pointed out. “Iranian malign behavior does not just target one country, it targets us all.”

Haley argued that Tehran’s determination to eliminate its “political opponents on foreign soil reflect the true nature of the Iranian regime.”

Said Haley: “These attacks are precisely the sort of behavior that led the United States to reimpose sanctions against Iran on November 5. This was the largest sanctions action against Iran ever undertaken by the United States.”

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