U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley slammed the Security Council early Thursday with a defiant speech in the aftermath of the flare-up between Palestinian militants in Gaza and Israel, saying it was "outrageous for the UN Security Council to fail to condemn rocket attacks" by the Hamas "terrorist organization."
Haley expressed regret that a statement proposed by the U.S. deploring the attacks from Gaza was blocked, claiming representatives at the council use a double standard when it comes to condemning actions against Israel.
"We all know that certain actions in and around Gaza receive an enormous amount of attention both here in the Security Council and throughout international media. Strangely, other actions do not receive nearly the same attention that they deserve," Haley said with sarcasm.
Haley said that the "desired outcome" of attacks directed against Israel was "to maximize civilian casualties." Five Israelis sustained shrapnel wounds and a kindergarten was hit by mortar fire some 30 minutes before it was opened.
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Haley said the "outrageous terrorist attack" carried out by Hamas naturally triggers a reaction of Israel in self-defense, adding that the people of Gaza "need protection from Hamas" and not from Israel. She spoke of a "disconnect" and of "hypocrisy" in relation to the Security Council attitude toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
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"Hamas' stated purpose is the destruction of Israel, aim is to create as much damage as possible and to provoke a response in self-defense that will provoke international condemnation of Israeli action," Haley said.
During the emergency session, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov, who had promptly condemned the launching of rockets into Israel on Tuesday, noted however that "the dangerous escalation" in Gaza can't be divorced from two months of mass protests at the border fence with Israel in which some 110 Palestinians were killed and large numbers injured by Israeli military fire.
"As demonstrations and protests in Gaza continue into the month of June, I am concerned that we may experience further violence and further risks of escalation," he said.
Associated Press contributed to this report