Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, defended Israel's response to Monday's violent protests on Tuesday, which erupted following the opening of the newly moved United States Embassy in Jerusalem.
Haley said at an emergency session of the U.N. Security Council Tuesday that Israel showed “restraint” as members of Hamas hurled firebombs and stones toward the troops across the Gaza border and denied the violence was in reaction to the new U.S. Embassy's opening in Jerusalem.
At least 60 Palestinian protesters were killed, according to the latest reports.
“No country in this chamber would act with more restraint than Israel has,” US Amb. Haley says at the UN the day after at least 58 Palestinians were killed and more than 2,700 others were injured at the Gaza border. https://t.co/fnvTjyGBgV pic.twitter.com/Leaa3V3cPu
— NBC News (@NBCNews) May 15, 2018
“Rather, the violence comes from those who reject the existence of the state of Israel in any location,” Haley said.
“The location of the embassy has no bearing on the specific boundaries of Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem or the resolution of contested borders. […] It does not undermine the prospects for peace in any way," she continued.
“No country in this chamber would act with more restraint than Israel has,” the U.S. ambassador added.
Critics of the president have pointed to the timing for new embassy opening considering the massive loss of life from Monday's protests. However, the White House, like Haley, on Monday refuted any connection to protests at the Gaza strip.
“The responsibility for these tragic deaths rests squarely with Hamas,” White House deputy press secretary Raj Shah said during Monday's briefing. “Hamas is intentionally and cynically provoking this response and as the secretary of state (Mike Pompeo) said, Israel has a right to defend itself.”
The White House deputy press secretary added that Hamas bears “responsibility for the entire situation right now.”