US envoy claims Israel acted with ‘restraint’ in Gaza

By Safvan Allahverdi

WASHINGTON (AA) – The U.S. envoy to the UN, Nikki Haley, claimed Tuesday Israel acted with restraint in its military action near the Gaza border that martyred at least 62 Palestinians.

She was speaking at the emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council, which was held on the request of Kuwait over Israeli deadly violence at Gaza border.

At the beginning of the meeting, diplomats stood to observe a moment of silence for the victims of the violence.

According to the Palestinian Health Ministry, at least 62 Palestinian demonstrators have been martyred and thousands of others were wounded by cross-border Israeli gunfire in one of the deadliest single-day massacres in the country's history.

However, Haley argued that a large numbers of violence have taken place in the region, holding Iran and Hamas accountable for it.

She also accused the UN Security Council of applying "double standards", saying the council members overlook the Iran's support to Hamas.

Also accusing Iran of destabilizing Syria, Yemen and Lebanon, Haley said the security council needs to pay attention to Iran.

– Dialogue

Describing the U.S. embassy’s relocation from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem as "the right decision", Haley argued that the move would “contribute to the peace process.”

Additionally, Russia's deputy envoy to UN Dmitry Polyansky, suggested Israel and Palestine to hold a dialogue in Moscow.

Emphasizing her country's acknowledgement of Palestinians' right to protest, the U.K.'s envoy to UN Karen Pierce however, said they are “deeply concerned” that the demonstrations were “exploited by radical groups and that molotov cocktail were used in the demonstrations.”

Pierce added that Israel has rights to defend its borders, but its security forces should refrain from using excessive force.

France's envoy to UN Francois Delattre also warned that the violence may spread across the border and effect the entire region, noting that the violence in Gaza only strengthen the radical and potential terrorist organizations in the region.

Bolivia's envoy to the UN Sacha Sergio Llorentty Soliz called on Israel to end the occupation of Palestinian territories and read the names of the children who were killed in Gaza on Monday.

Soliz stressed that the International Criminal Court should initiate an investigation into violence at Gaza border.

– Violence against civilians

Other members and diplomats in the council called on Israel to stop the violence while the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nikolay Mladenov said the violence by the Israeli security forces must be condemned in the strongest way.

Also speaking at the meeting, Palestine's envoy to the UN Riyad Mansour slammed Israel for its violence against civilians. He asked the members as to what would they do if they would lose 60 of their citizens including children in only 24 hours and that how many more Palestinians have to die for the UN Security Council to act.

Haley walked out of the chamber as Mansour began to speak at the meeting.

Trump sparked international outcry last December when he unilaterally recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital and vowed to relocate Washington's embassy to the city.

The embassy relocation coincides with the 70th anniversary of Israel’s establishment in 1948 — an event Palestinians refer to as the “Nakba” or the “The Catastrophe”.

Thousands of Palestinians had gathered on Gaza Strip’s eastern border early Monday morning to take part in protests aimed to commemorate the Nakba anniversary and protest relocating the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Following the Israel's deadly violence toward Palestinians, Turkey recalled its ambassadors in Israel and the U.S. for consultations. Similar action came from South Africa.

Since the border rallies began on March 30, more than 100 Palestinian demonstrators have been killed by cross-border Israeli gunfire, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.