WASHINTON - The United Nations Security Council gathered on Tuesday for a periodic discussion on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with America's envoy to the UN, Nikki Haley, saying that states that support Hamas should pay a price for it.
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"We need to pressure Hamas to end its tyranny over the people of Gaza, we should name Hamas as the group responsible when rockets are fired from Gaza, and designate it as a terror organization in a resolution with consequences for anyone who supports it," she said.
"We stand with Israel against forces of terror," she said, blasting Hamas for using UN supported schools to hide arms and dig terror tunnels.
"This is the way Hamas does business. Hamas hides military infrastructure in and around hospitals. It plots and plans to attack civilians while using civilian buildings as cover," she said, blasting Hamas for "squandering" its control over Gaza.
"Israel did not cause the problems in Gaza, no single Israeli settler has lived in Gaza for ten years. We all would like to see Palestinians in Gaza receive the aid they need. But the responsibility rests squarely with the one group that actually controls Gaza - Hamas.
"Hamas chooses to devote its resources to terrorism instead of governing and reaching peace," she said.
Prior to the discussion, the UN's special envoy to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, Nikolay Mladenov, briefed the council via video conference, and spoke about Israel's increased settlement building efforts in recent months.
Mladenov quoted Prime Minister Netanyahu, who said in recent days that the current government in Israel is "the best ever" for settlements, and detailed Israel's recent announcements of settlement building.
Mladenov said that "Palestinian officials continued to commemorate perpetrators of past terror attacks against Israelis," and mentioned one recent event in which a building in the Palestinian city of Jenin was named after a terrorist. He also condemned Hamas' "deplorable" habit of celebrating successful attacks against Israelis, including after the attack last week that led to the death of an Israeli policewoman in Jerusalem.
Mladenov also referred to an event first uncovered by Haaretz, in which senior Israeli politicians, including ministers from the government, participated in an event honoring the publication of a new book that contained racist and violent views about Israel's Arab citizens.
Mladenov warned that Gaza is a ticking time bomb, and said that "when it explodes, it will have consequences." He urged the members of the Security Council to take steps to stop anotehr war and humanitarian crisis in Gaza. On a positive note, he mentioned President Donald Trump's expressed commitment to solving the conflict, and the Arab League's renewed commitment to the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative.