'The people of Gaza are not our enemy. Hamas is'

Prime Minister Netanyahu welcomes U.S. support at the UN.

Elad Benari,

Flash 90

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s office released a statement on Wednesday welcoming the United States’ support at the UN.

The statement came as the General Assembly debated an anti-Israel resolution condemning Israel’s actions along the Gaza border.

“Israel appreciates the Trump administration’s steadfast support for Israel at the United Nations and Ambassador Haley’s strong statement today exposing the hypocrisy of the UN’s bias against Israel,” the statement said.

“The UN’s incessant focus on Israel not only brings shame to the organization. It also draws attention away from so many other pressing issues that demand the attention of the international community.”

“As for Gaza, Hamas is responsible for the terrible situation there and for the loss of life and suffering that has occurred as a result of the violent riots it has instigated over the last few weeks,” continued the statement.

“Rather than improve the lives of the people of Gaza, Hamas is using the civilian Palestinian population as human shields in its unremitting terror war against Israel.”

“For his part, [Palestinian Authority] President Abbas has only made the humanitarian situation in Gaza worse by reducing payments of salaries to Gaza and by refusing to pay for electricity provided to Gaza,” said Netanyahu’s office.

“While Israel will continue to defend itself and protect the security of its citizens, Israel will continue to seek ways to improve the humanitarian situation in Gaza.”

“The people of Gaza are not our enemy. Hamas is.”

“That is why Israel welcomes all efforts that would improve conditions for the people of Gaza while preventing Hamas from building its military capabilities to launch further attacks against Israel and demanding the prompt return of the Israeli soldiers and civilians Hamas is holding.”

“Prime Minister Netanyahu looks forward to discussing the issue of Gaza with Jared Kushner, Jason Greenblatt and David Friedman next week, as well as to discussing ways to advance peace between Israelis and Palestinians and between Israel and the broader Arab world.”

“While we work to improve daily lives for the people of Gaza and to return our soldiers and civilians, we should also work to take advantage of the many positive changes occurring in the region to advance a genuine and durable peace.”

“Palestinians who threaten us will find an Israel determined as ever to defend itself. Palestinians who reach out to us in peace and friendship will find an outstretched hand in return,” concluded the statement.

Haley earlier on Wednesday presented a U.S. amendment to the resolution seeking to condemn Hamas for the violence on the Gaza border and condemned the General Assembly for continuing to single out Israel.

“What makes Gaza different is that attacking Israel is their favorite political sport. The resolution is one sided, makes not one mention of Hamas which routinely initiates violence,” she said.

“At what point will the UN hold Hamas accountable for what is happening in Gaza? It is Hamas and its allies who have fired more than 100 rockets into Israel in the last month. Hamas calls for the destruction of Israel in any borders. The resolution fails to mention Hamas. There is still chance for this body to right this wrong. The U.S. is offering an amendment that provides a small step in the direction of balance,” continued Haley.

“It's a modest amendment that reflects the minimum truth of what is going in Gaza. It is the least that any self respecting nation can do. I urge my colleagues to support the U.S. amendment,” she said.