For a second week in a row, the US blocked a Kuwaiti drafted UN Security Council statement calling for an independent and transparent investigation into the clashes that erupted along the Gaza Strip border since March 30. In response, Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Dannon called on council members to condemn Hamas, which he said is using Gaza’s children as human shields in the protests.









“Tire Friday” protest Photo Credit: Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90

The US on Friday blocked a UN Security Council draft statement calling for an independent investigation into the deadly clashes along the Israel-Gaza border. The move came one week after the US has rejected a similar statement.

Palestinian Ambassador to the UN Riyad Mansour told reporters on Friday that 14 out of the 15 Security Council members had voted in favor of the statement, which was ultimately blocked by the US. The recent statement, submitted by Kuwait, was reportedly nearly identical to the one circulated and blocked on Saturday last week.

In response, Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Dannon called on the Security Council to condemn Hamas, which he said is using Gaza’s children as human shields in the protests. He also urged council members to call on the terrorist organization to cease all provocations, saying that these only “increase the violence and tensions.”

In a statement on Friday, Head of the Southern Command Maj. Gen. Eyal Zamir said IDF troops have foiled several attempts of terror attacks and infiltrations from Gaza. “I think the division and the forces of the Southern Command fulfilled their mission in an impressive way,” he said. “What we faced and what we are facing at the end of the day is a violent riot that includes attempts to carry out terror attacks and a hostile sabotage.”

About 30 Palestinians have been killed in the clashes along the Gaza security fence since March 30. On Friday, some 15,000 protesters gathered along the border in a second mass “March of Return” event. Throughout the day, Palestinians burnt hundreds of tires that created clouds of black smoke in the area, which was countered by fans and water hoses the IDF had deployed. In addition, the IDF said it had used riot dispersal means and live fire in accordance with the rules of engagement.

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