The United States blocked a United Nations Security Council statement calling for an investigation of Israel following violent clashes on the Gaza Strip over the weekend.
Arab states and the Palestinian Authority called for an emergency session on Friday to address clashes between Palestinians from the Gaza Strip and the IDF that began on Friday morning as part of Hamas’s “March of Return” protests. The United States and Israel asked to postpone the meeting until Saturday given Passover celebrations; The council denied, holding a closed meeting on Friday night.
The Council then wanted to release a statement, calling on Israel to practice restraint and to allow for “demonstrations and protests” while also calling for an “independent” investigation of the IDF and its actions. The United States blocked the statement with its veto power.
Over 30,000 Palestinians from Gaza gathered on the border with Israel, with numerous terror attack attempts thwarted by the IDF. The IDF confirmed that 10 of the 16 Palestinians killed were part of terrorist organizations. Ten of the terrorists were members of Hamas, and 5 were part of Hamas’s military wing, Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades. Hamas claims over 1,400 were injured in clashes.
The Palestinians quickly took to using the events to manipulate the media and creating videos of fabricated IDF “abuses”. These included videos of IDF soldiers supposedly shooting young children and women. The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit responded to the false propaganda, stating “The Hamas terrorist organization has published several videos, some of which only depict parts of incidents while others are edited or completely fabricated… IDF troops faced gunshots, infiltration attempts, damage to security infrastructure, firebombs, rocks, and rolling burning tires. The IDF operated in strict accordance with the rules of engagement, firing only when necessary and avoiding civilians strategically placed by Hamas in harm’s way. IDF operational activity prevented the Hamas terrorist organization’s objective to harm security infrastructure and attempts to violate Israeli sovereignty.”
It warned “Don’t take Hamas’s propaganda as fact. The IDF will continue operating in order to ensure Israeli sovereignty is not breached and to protect Israeli civilians. The participants of the violent riots are situating themselves in a dangerous area, thus putting themselves in harm’s way.”
Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas praised the Palestinians killed in clashes with IDF forces, using the events to speak about Jerusalem, which he claimed “will remain Arab”. He stated Friday night, “I express my pride in the sacrifice of the Palestinian people today. I place the responsibility for the deaths of the martyrs in Gaza today on Israel. The occupation army attacked nonviolent demonstrators who went out to mark Land Day and to emphasize that they adhere to their right to self-determination.” He added that the events are “proof that the Palestinian people will not lend a hand to any plan meant to eliminate the Palestinian issue and Jerusalem will remain Arab.”
This article originally appeared on Behold Israel, April 1, 2018, and reposted with permission.