Haley: US Will Veto ‘Morally Bankrupt’ UN Resolution That Slams Israel, Fails to Name Hamas

By Patrick Goodenough | June 1, 2018 | 4:39am EDT
U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley addresses a recent U.N. Security Council meeting in New York. (UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe, File)

(CNSNews.com) – Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley said Thursday the United States will veto an Arab-sponsored Security Council resolution seeking “an international protection mechanism” for Palestinian civilians, pointing out that it fails to mention by name the Hamas terrorist group at the center of current tensions in Gaza.

“It is a grossly one-sided approach that is morally bankrupt and would only serve to undermine ongoing efforts toward peace between the Israelis and Palestinians,” Haley said in a statement, referring to the Kuwait-drafted text. “There is not one single mention of Hamas in the resolution, when Hamas is chiefly responsible for the recent violence in Gaza.”

Haley said the U.S. would “unquestionably” veto the resolution, and any Security Council member that votes in favor of the resolution “will clarify their own lack of fitness to take part in any credible negotiations between the two parties.”

Kuwait, a non-permanent UNSC member representing the Arab states, drafted the resolution after blocking an earlier U.S.-drafted statement condemning Hamas and another Iranian-backed terrorist group, Islamic Jihad, for launching the biggest barrage of rockets and mortars into Israel from the Hamas-controlled territory in four years.

Some 70 rockets and mortars were fired toward nearby Israeli communities on Tuesday morning, one of them landing in the yard of a kindergarten (which was empty, the school day not yet having started.)

The Israeli Defense Forces retaliated with airstrikes targeting Hamas and Islamic Jihad targets including a two kilometer-long “terror tunnel” dug near the main Israel-Gaza border crossing.

Kuwaiti Ambassador to the U.N., Mansour Al-Otaibi. Kuwait is holds one of the 10 two-year rotating seats on the council, representing the Arab states. (Photo: Kuwait Mission New York)

The Kuwait-drafted resolution “deplores the firing of rockets from the Gaza Strip at Israeli civilian areas” but is silent on the perpetrators. The two terrorist groups in a joint statement of responsibility earlier said their barrage was a “response to the brutal Zionist aggression and crimes against our people and resistance fighters.”

The bulk of the resolution text is directed at Israel. While Hamas and Islamic Jihad are not named, the draft demands that Israel refrain from “excessive, disproportionate and indiscriminate force” against Palestinian civilians.

The measure alludes to the violence that ensued when tens of thousands of Palestinians tried to breach the Gaza-Israel border at Hamas’ instigation in mid-May. Sixty-two Palestinians were killed by Israel forces guarding the border. Hamas said 80 percent of them were its members.

Haley in her statement noted that “the resolution calls on Israel to immediately cease its actions in self-defense, but makes no mention of Hamas’ aggressive actions against Israeli security forces and civilians.”

“A biased resolution that condemns Israel yet fails to even mention the terrorists of Hamas is not worthy of consideration by the U.N. Security Council,” tweeted Israel’s Ambassador Danny Danon. “All members of the Council should reject this hypocritical resolution that denies Israel the basic right of defending its citizens.”

Danon’s Kuwaiti counterpart, Mansour Al-Otaibi, said in an earlier Twitter post, “As long as this occupation continues against the Palestinian people, it is their legitimate right to resist and confront it and defend their aspirations & dreams of independence and a free & dignified life. We support their struggle.”

On Wednesday, Haley slammed Kuwait for blocking the U.S.-drafted statement condemning the rocket barrage.

“Hamas openly claims responsibility for this attack,” she told the council. “They do so proudly. Their only regret is that the attack did not kill anyone.”

“This should have been a no-brainer,” Haley said. “You would think no one would want to side with Hamas when it comes to condemning rocket launches. But the statement was blocked.”

Any one of the council’s 15 members can block a “presidential statement.” They are adopted by consensus, although members may abstain.

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