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Nikki Haley Blames Hamas for Violence in Gaza

May 15th 2018

Hamas head

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said Tuesday that the relocation of the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem was not to blame for deadly violence that erupted along the Gaza border, casting blame instead on Hamas and its backers in the Iranian government.

Addressing the U.N. Security Council, Haley said Hamas, the group that controls Gaza and is labeled a terrorist organization by the U.S., was behind the clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli forces that left at least 60 people dead. She bemoaned the “double standard” that she said exists at the U.N. under which Israel shoulders the blame for violence she said was spurred by Hamas and Iran.

“Let's remember that the Hamas terrorist organization has been inciting violence for years, long before the United States decided to move our embassy,” Haley said. “This is what is endangering the people of Gaza. Make no mistake, Hamas is pleased with the results from yesterday.”

The violence on Monday made for a jarring split screen in the region, with the pomp and circumstance of the embassy opening in Jerusalem carrying on even as Israeli forces used deadly force to stop protesters from crossing a border fence from Gaza. Protesters hurled projectiles at Israeli forces and lit tires on fire, generating thick black smoke.

On Tuesday, Haley highlighted the tactics used by some Palestinian protesters, including the use of Molotov cocktails attached to kites, and accused Hamas of urging protesters to get closer to the fence via recordings on loudspeakers, incorrectly telling them that Israeli forces were withdrawing.

Those Security Council nations castigating Israel should consider, Haley said, whether they would tolerate the type of violence seen in Gaza along their own borders.

“No country in this chamber would act with more restraint than Israel has. In fact, the records of several countries here today suggest they would be much less restrained,” she said.

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