As­sailed at the U.N., Is­rael and U.S. de­fend shoot­ings

Ha­ley says Is­raelis used re­straint in Gaza, but lethal force widely de­cried

The Washington Post - - FRONT PAGE - BY CAROL MORELLO, LOVEDAY MOR­RIS AND KAREN DEYOUNG

Is­rael and the United States came un­der harsh, global crit­i­cism Tues­day as both coun­tries de­fended Is­rael’s use of live am­mu­ni­tion against Pales­tini­ans protest­ing at the Gaza bor­der. The Pales­tinian death toll from the Mon­day shoot­ings rose to at least 60, while the United Na­tions put the over­all tally in six weeks of es­ca­lat­ing ten­sion at 112.

“Lethal force may only be used as a mea­sure of last, not first, re­sort and only when there is an im­me­di­ate threat to life or se­ri­ous in­jury,” U.N. hu­man rights spokesman Ru­pert Colville told re­porters in Geneva. An at­tempt to ap­proach or cross a bor­der fence was “not suf­fi­cient grounds,” he said.

Thou­sands have been wounded, Colville said. “Enough is enough.”

Nikki Ha­ley, the U.S. am­bas­sador to the United Na­tions, told an emer­gency meet­ing of the Se­cu­rity Coun­cil that Is­rael had acted with re­straint. She dis­missed sug­ges­tions that the vi­o­lence was re­lated to the open­ing of the U.S. Em­bassy in Jerusalem, and said that Ha­mas, backed by Iran, had urged pro­test­ers to burst through the fence sep­a­rat­ing Is­rael from the Gaza en­clave.

“I ask my col­leagues here in the Se­cu­rity Coun­cil: Who among us would ac­cept this type of ac­tiv­ity on your bor­der?” Ha­ley said. “No one would. No coun­try in this cham­ber would act with more re­straint than Is­rael has.”

But the ac­tions of Is­raeli troops and the re­fusal by the United States to even ex­press re­gret for the loss of life have left both coun­tries iso­lated amid grow­ing con­dem­na­tions that Is­rael used ex­ces­sive force against the pro­test­ers, most of whom were un­armed. Crowds at the bor­der were thin Tues­day. Gun­fire rang out over Gaza City as rounds were fired dur­ing funeral pro­ces­sions for Mon­day’s dead. Res­i­dents planned fur­ther protests as they pre­pared to mark the an­niver­sary of Is­rael’s found­ing, known to Pales­tini­ans as the Nakba, or Catas­tro­phe. More than twothirds of Gaza’s pop­u­la­tion of nearly 2 mil­lion is de­scended from refugees who were dis­placed at the time of Is­rael’s cre­ation 70 years ago.

Is­rael has block­aded Gaza

Ha­mas — con­sid­ered a ter­ror­ist group by Is­rael, the United States and most, if not all, West­ern coun­tries — was elected by the pop­u­la­tion there and took over in 2007.

In Wash­ing­ton, State De­part­ment spokes­woman Heather Nauert said the mis­ery en­dured by Gazans, who have the world’s high­est un­em­ploy­ment rate and are largely cut off from the rest of the world, is en­tirely the fault of Ha­mas.

“We have seen how Ha­mas con­tin­ues to in­cite vi­o­lence,” she said.

Saudi Ara­bia and other U.S. al­lies in the Mid­dle East crit­i­cized the Gaza vi­o­lence and the re­lo­ca­tion of the U.S. Em­bassy from Tel Aviv. Turkey’s govern­ment ordered the Is­raeli am­bas­sador in Ankara to leave the coun­try, and re­called its ambassadors in Wash­ing­ton and Tel Aviv for con­sul­ta­tions.

Turk­ish Pres­i­dent Re­cep Tayyip Er­do­gan and Is­raeli Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Ne­tanyahu traded in­sults on Twit­ter. A Turk­ish govern­ment min­is­ter and spokesman, Bekir Bozdag, said Pales­tinian out­rage had been fu­eled by the em­bassy move and that “the blood of in­no­cent Pales­tini­ans is on the hands of the United States.”

In Dublin, For­eign Min­is­ter Si­mon Coveney sum­moned the Is­raeli am­bas­sador to ex­press Ire­land’s “out­rage” over the Gaza shoot­ings. The Eu­ro­pean Union’s for­eign pol­icy chief, Fed­er­ica Mogherini, called on Is­rael to show “ut­most re­straint to avoid fur­ther loss of life.”

Mogherini was meet­ing in Brus­sels with the for­eign min­is­ters of Bri­tain, France and Ger­many, as well as their Ira­nian coun­ter­part, to dis­cuss how they can keep the Ira­nian nu­clear deal alive fol­low­ing with­drawal by the United States. In re­marks to re- porters, she and French For­eign Min­is­ter Jean-Yves Le Drian said the em­bassy move was a vi­o­la­tion of in­ter­na­tional law and Se­cu­rity Coun­cil res­o­lu­tions.

The Mon­day vi­o­lence, in which no Is­raelis were in­jured, con­trasted sharply with the fes­tive cer­e­mony at the new em­bassy in Jerusalem, just 40 miles away. At the U.N. meet­ing, called by Kuwait to dis­cuss the Gaza sit­u­a­tion, both U.S. al­lies and ad­ver­saries added their op­po­si­tion to the em­bassy move to their re­marks on the vi­o­lence.

“Who among us would ac­cept this type of ac­tiv­ity on your bor­der? No one would.” Nikki Ha­ley, U.S. am­bas­sador to the United Na­tions, as­sert­ing that Is­rael acted with re­straint when us­ing live am­mu­ni­tion against Pales­tini­ans.

“The uni­lat­eral de­ci­sion by the United States to move its em­bassy to Jerusalem does noth­ing but in­flame spirits,” said Sacha Llorenti, Bo­livia’s en­voy. “The United States, which sup­ports the oc­cu­py­ing power, has be­come an ob­sta­cle to peace. It has be­come part of the prob­lem, not part of the so­lu­tion.”

Karen Pierce, the British am­bas­sador, ex­pressed sup­port for an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into Mon­day’s killings, then stated Lon­don’s po­si­tion on the U.S. Em­bassy’s open­ing.

“Our po­si­tion on the sta­tus of Jerusalem and mov­ing the Amer­i­can em­bassy is well known,” she said. “The sta­tus of Jerusalem should be de­ter­mined in a ne­go­ti­ated set­tle­ment be­tween Is­rael and Pales­tini­ans, and Jerusalem should ul­ti­mately be the shared cap­i­tal of the Is­raeli and Palestinsince ian states.”

The en­voys from China, Swe­den and the Nether­lands also went out of their way to re­it­er­ate their govern­ment’s po­si­tion that Jerusalem’s sta­tus should be left to ne­go­ti­a­tions and their in­ten­tion to keep their em­bassies in Tel Aviv.

Ha­ley, speak­ing at the be­gin­ning of the ses­sion, said the lo­ca­tion of the U.S. Em­bassy has no bear­ing on what­ever Is­raelis and Pales­tini­ans might ne­go­ti­ate and de­scribed the open­ing of the fa­cil­ity as “a cause for cel­e­bra­tion.”

“It re­flects the will of the Amer­i­can peo­ple,” she said. “It re­flects our sov­er­eign right to de­cide the lo­ca­tion of our em­bassy. Im­por­tantly, mov­ing our em­bassy to Jerusalem also re­flects the re­al­ity that Jerusalem is the cap­i­tal of Is­rael . . . . Rec­og­niz­ing this re­al­ity makes real peace more achiev­able, not less.”

Ha­ley and Danny Danon, Is­rael’s am­bas­sador to the United Na­tions, ac­cused Iran of help­ing fo­ment the vi­o­lent and deadly clashes.

“We do have in­di­ca­tions of Ira­nian fund­ing into Ha­mas,” said Danon, talk­ing to re­porters be­fore the Se­cu­rity Coun­cil meet­ing.

“We know the ri­ots are well or­ga­nized, well funded and well or­ches­trated by Ha­mas,” he added. “Iran is sup­port­ing the ri­ots in Gaza.”

Man­sour al-Otaibi, the Kuwaiti am­bas­sador to the United Na­tions, said he would cir­cu­late another draft res­o­lu­tion Wed­nes­day call­ing for the United Na­tions to pro­vide pro­tec­tion for civil­ians in Gaza. He said it would be short of a peace­keep­ing force, how­ever.

Mor­ris re­ported from Gaza City. Ruth Eglash in Jerusalem and Kareem Fahim in Is­tan­bul con­trib­uted to this re­port.

WIS­SAM NAS­SAR FOR THE WASH­ING­TON POST

Pales­tinian medics, try­ing to evac­u­ate in­jured pro­test­ers in the Gaza Strip, raise their hands Tues­day while walk­ing toward the bor­der and, on the other side of its fence, a group of Is­raeli sol­diers. The death toll from Mon­day’s shoot­ings has risen to...

WIS­SAM NAS­SAR FOR THE WASH­ING­TON POST

Ha­mas leader Is­mail Haniyeh joins a crowd of sup­port­ers Tues­day dur­ing his visit to the Gaza Strip’s bor­der with Is­rael. Is­rael has block­aded Gaza since Ha­mas took over in 2007 fol­low­ing an elec­tion.

JUSTIN LANE/EPA-EFE/SHUT­TER­STOCK

Danny Danon, Is­rael’s am­bas­sador to the United Na­tions, ac­cused Iran of help­ing fo­ment the clashes be­tween Is­raelis and Pales­tini­ans. “We do have in­di­ca­tions of Ira­nian fund­ing into Ha­mas,” he said.

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