US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley defended Israel’s killing of at least 60 Palestinian protesters and wounding more than 2,800 on Monday at the Gaza Strip’s borders in demonstrations that broke out over moving the US embassy to Jerusalem and marked the 70th anniversary of the Nakba.
“No country in this chamber would act with more restraint than Israel has,” said Haley at an emergency meeting of the United Nation Security Council on Tuesday, after her country blocked on Monday the adoption of a statement proposed by Kuwait to launch an independent investigation into Monday’s death toll.
Haley noted, “the Hamas terrorist organisation has been inciting violence for years, long before the United States decided to move our embassy.”
She concluded her speech and left the chamber when Palestine’s UN envoy, Riyad Mansour, began to speak. He described Monday’s violent events as an “odious massacre,” urging the council to “act immediately to stop the massacre committed against our people.”
“How many Palestinians have to die before you take action?” Mansour questioned, emphasising that Israel is “the main source of violence in our region.”
Kuwait called for the meeting, urging the international community to recognise Palestine as an independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital. It further proposed a resolution aiming to protect Palestinian civilians following the bloody events in Gaza.
Monday’s death toll rose to 60 people killed, including six children, and more than 2,800 others injured. Israel used live ammunition, rubber bullets, and tear gas against Monday’s demonstrators. It defended its violent response to the protests by stating, “every nation has the right to defend its borders,” blaming Hamas “for sending thousands to break through the border.”
The bloody events contrasted sharply with the opening ceremony Israel organised to celebrate relocating the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, as US President Donald Trump previously recognised the holy city as Israel’s capital, triggering a wave of anger among Palestinians, who consider East Jerusalem as their future independent state’s capital.