Nikki Haley
Nikki HaleyREUTERS

United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley ripped the Hamas terror group on Thursday, blaming the Gaza-based group for the ongoing violence on the Israel-Gaza border.

Since March 30th, tens of thousands of Arab rioters have clashed with Israeli security personnel along Israel’s border fence on the Gaza frontier. The Hamas terror group, which rules the Gaza Strip, has encouraged Gazans to participate in the violent demonstrations.

Rioters have hurled firebombs, flaming tires, and stones at Israeli soldiers, and used makeshift ‘terror kites’ to drop explosives and firebombs in Israeli territory.

More than 40 Gazans have been killed since the riots began, including more than a dozen individuals identified by Israeli security officials as Hamas terrorists.

The riots are slated to continue through May 15th, one day after Israeli Independence Day, which Hamas marks as “Nakba Day” – the Day of Catastrophe.

Speaking at a United Nations Security Council meeting on Thursday, Haley blamed Hamas for the deaths of rioters who approached the Israeli border, saying the terror group was using “children as cannon fodder”.

"Anyone who truly cares about children in Gaza should insist that Hamas immediately stop using children as cannon fodder in its conflict with Israel.”

"It's difficult to think of a more cowardly act - even for a terrorist - than hiding behind innocent civilians," Haley continued.

The United Nations has called for an investigation into Israel’s response to the riots – a move the Trump administration has opposed.

"Gaza is coming apart as we speak under the pressure of an explosive combination of negative humanitarian, security and political factors," United Nations Middle East envoy Nickolay Mladenov said.