US President Donald Trump at the weekend instructed his ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, to block a Security Council statement blaming Israel for Palestinian deaths during Friday’s Hamas-led riots along the Gaza security fence.
Hamas reported that at least 16 Palestinians had been shot and killed by Israeli forces after the terror group sent some 30,000 Gazans to attempt to breach the barrier and enter southern Israel.
Israeli officials described the mass incident as extremely violent in nature, and video footage supported that claim.
But Palestinian and other Arab leaders attempted to paint the confrontation as a “peaceful demonstration” during which Israeli troops opened fire unprovoked, resulting in what they called “war crimes.”
Acting on behalf of the Palestinians, Kuwait submitted a Security Council draft that contained a veiled condemnation of Israel and demanded an “independent and transparent investigation” into the Palestinian deaths.
Such investigations have in the past served only to whitewash Hamas and lay the bulk of the blame at Israel’s feet. Trump was having none of it, and neither was the UK, which joined America in opposing the statement.
Palestinian leaders were livid.
Palestinian Authority spokesman Yusef al-Mahmoud said opposition to the Security Council statement by the US and UK had “turned them into accomplices in the horrific massacre committed by the Israeli occupation army against our defenseless people.”
Al-Mahmoud was apparently unaware that numerous video clips circulating on the Internet show the Palestinian mobs violently provoking the Israeli soldiers with rocks, fire bombs and guns. Several Palestinians were caught planting bombs along the security fence.
Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas said that America and Britain had demonstrated blatant “bias in favor of oppression and suppression.”
Casual observers might wonder why protecting the Gaza security fence from mass infiltration constitutes oppression. After all, the Palestinians demand an independent state in the West Bank and Gaza, and independent states have protected borders separating them from neighboring states.
Hamas itself provided the explanation for the apparent discrepancy.
The mass demonstration was dubbed the “March of Return,” and of it Gaza-based Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh stated: “We are here to declare today that our people will not agree to keep the ‘right of return’ only as a slogan.”
To translate, Hamas was reiterating that it does not see a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza as the conclusion to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It remains dedicated to the destruction of the entire State of Israel. And the best way of achieving that at present is flooding the Jewish state with millions of Palestinian “refugees.”
One of the few points on which Hamas and Abbas’ Palestinian Authority agree is that as part of any “final status” peace agreement, Israel must agree to open its gates to these millions of new Arab inhabitants. It is a demand that no Israeli government, be it right- or left-wing, can ever accept, and the Palestinians know that.