Israel praises Trump administration, Nikki Haley for support in UN over Gaza


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the Trump administration and the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, for its support of Israel during a U.N. General Assembly emergency meeting on Gaza.

On Wednesday evening, the General Assembly in a 120-8 vote passed a resolution condemning Israel for an “excessive use of force” during weekly Palestinian protests on the Gaza border and rejected a U.S. bid to amend the resolution to also condemn Hamas, the terrorist group that controls the Gaza Strip. Among those voting against the measure were Israel, the United States and Australia. There were 45 abstentions.

The U.S. amendment passed 62-58 but failed to win the required two-thirds majority to be appended on the resolution.

“Israel appreciates the Trump administration’s steadfast support for Israel at the United Nations and Ambassador Haley’s strong statement today exposing the hypocrisy of the UN’s bias against Israel,” Netanyahu said late Wednesday night in a statement. “The U.N.’s incessant focus on Israel not only brings shame to the organization. It also draws attention away from so many other pressing issues that demand the attention of the international community,”

He added: “As for Gaza, Hamas is responsible for the terrible situation there and for the loss of life and suffering that has occurred as a result of the violent riots it has instigated over the last few weeks. Rather than improve the lives of the people of Gaza, Hamas is using the civilian Palestinian population as human shields in its unremitting terror war against Israel.

“Palestinians who threaten us will find an Israel determined as ever to defend itself. Palestinians who reach out to us in peace and friendship will find an outstretched hand in return,” the statement concluded.

About 130 Palestinians have been killed on the border with Gaza since the so-called March of Return protests began on March 30, including many Hamas members. No Israeli troops or civilians have been killed as a result of the protests, but thousands of acres of agricultural land and woodlands in southern Israel have been burned from incendiary kites and balloons flown over the border by Gaza Palestinians.

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