Haley: Hamas must stop using Gaza children as cannon fodder

Hamas must stop its “outrageous practice” of using Palestinians in Gaza, particularly children, as human shields when it attacks Israel, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley told the Security Council on Thursday, at its monthly meeting on the Middle East.

“Anyone who truly cares about children in Gaza should insist that Hamas immediately stop using children as cannon fodder in its conflict with Israel,” Haley said. “This is an issue that transcends the usual debates in this chamber. It is quite simply an issue of decency. Humanity itself loses when the barbaric practice of human shields is tolerated and unanswered.”She also took to task ISIS, Iran and Houthi gunmen in Yemen for their use of human shields, saying the practice had reached epic proportions in the region.

“It’s difficult to think of a more cowardly act – even for a terrorist – than hiding behind innocent civilians,” Haley said. “Anyone who cares about the lives of Yemenis or Palestinians should demand accountability for the militants who exploit them,”

Haley spoke against the backdrop of the ongoing Hamas protests at the Gaza border, called the “Great March of Return,” which began on March 30 and come to a peak on Fridays. Participants in the rallies hope to break through the security fence and enter Israel en masse.

IDF soldiers have killed at least 38 Palestinians, who were close to the fence or who broke through it. Israel claims they were mostly Hamas terrorists while Palestinians claim Israel has targeted innocent civilians.

The PLO’s Ambassador to the UN Riyad Mansour slammed the soldiers at the border, saying: “Such willful targeting of civilians is terrorism.”

The men, women and children at the border are peacefully protesting “an oppression that cannot be endured,” Mansour said. “Restraint should be seen as extraordinary and such protest is a natural response to this illegal, cruel occupation.”

“Why are civilians, including children, being targeted with live ammunition in a blatant shoot-to-kill-and-maim,” Mansour said. Those who were shot were killed “for being Palestinians” and for being “non-Jews” in an ongoing Israeli campaign of “ethnic cleansing,” he said.

He called on the Security Council to condemn Israel’s actions at the Gaza border and added that the failure of the 15-member international body’s “failure to address the situation, cannot be justified.”
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