TEL AVIV – U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley slammed the Security Council on Wednesday for its “outrageous” failure to condemn the dozens of rocket attacks on Israel from the Gaza Strip, even while it endorsed an inquiry into the IDF’s response to violent riots on the border.
“It is outrageous for the Security Council to fail to condemn Hamas rocket attacks against Israeli citizens while the Human Rights Council approves sending a team to investigate Israeli actions taken in self-defense,” Haley said at an emergency council meeting.
Kuwait, the non-permanent council representative of Arab nations, blocked a U.S.-drafted statement at the meeting. Instead, it drafted its own resolution that calls for “the consideration of measures” for the protection of Palestinian civilians, according to the text obtained by AFP.
“The people of Gaza do not need protection from an external source. The people of Gaza need protection from Hamas,” Haley said.
“I urge the members of the Security Council to exercise at least as much scrutiny of the actions of the Hamas terrorist group as it does Israel’s legitimate right of self-defense.”
More than 100 mortars and rockets were launched at Israel by Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist groups in Gaza, one of which landed on a kindergarten shortly before children were expected to arrive and another caused damage to a home in which a family slept. Four soldiers were injured. The barrage prompted Israeli airstrikes on dozens of terror targets all over the Strip.
Also on Wednesday, UN envoy for the Middle East Nickolay Mladenov warned the Security Council via live broadcast from Jerusalem that the latest escalations were an indicator that Gaza was in danger of becoming embroiled in another war.
“This latest round of attacks is a warning to all of how close to the brink of war we are every day,” said Mladenov.
“No one in Gaza can afford another war,” he added.
The U.S. will veto Kuwait’s draft resolution, Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon said.
“If Israeli children are not allowed to sleep quietly at night, then the terrorists of Gaza will feel the might of the IDF,” he said. “We will not allow anyone to harm our citizens and we will do all that is necessary to defend them.”
Tuesday’s flare-up was the most serious since the 2014 summer conflict between Israel and Hamas. It comes on the heels of weeks of Gazan riots in which the most deadly day, which coincided with the U.S. embassy opening in Jerusalem, resulted in the IDF shooting and killing 60 Palestinians attempting to breach the border. Hamas admitted that 50 of the fatalities were members of its terror group. The PIJ terror group claimed another three.
Earlier in the month, the UN’s Human Rights Council passed a resolution calling for an investigation into IDF actions on the border during the protests, prompting Israel and the U.S. to slam the body for its anti-Israel bias.
At Wednesday’s meeting, Haley blasted the Gaza-ruling terror group Hamas for provocations.
“Unlike some situations we deal with here in the Security Council, where guilty parties claim mistaken identity, or lack of evidence of responsibility, this is clearly not the case,” she said. “Hamas openly claims responsibility for this attack. They do so proudly. Their only regret is that the attack did not kill anyone.”
“The Security Council has always been quick to pounce on Israel, regardless of the facts or the circumstances,” Haley added. “I am very interested in how my colleagues respond when the attacks are directly against Israel.”