The White House blames Hamas for the violence and subsequent deaths from clashes with Israeli security forces along the border with Gaza: “Israel has a right to defend itself.”

Netanyahu and Trump | Archive

Netanyahu and Trump | Archive Photo Credit: Avi Ohayon/GPO

Speaking at a press briefing today (Monday), Raj Shah, the White House spokesperson, said:  “We’re aware of the reports of continued violence in Gaza today. The responsibility for these tragic deaths rests squarely with Hamas. Hamas is intentionally and cynically provoking this response.” To this he added: “As the secretary of state said, Israel has a right to defend itself.”

When asked by a member of the press whether the White House had called for the IDF to practice restraint against the protesters, Shah reiterated that “we shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that Hamas is the one that, frankly, bears responsibility for the entire situation right now.”

While members of the Trump administration were celebrating the official opening of the US Embassy in Jerusalem together with members of the Israeli government, at least 52 protesters died and 2,000 were injured in clashes with Israeli security forces. 

As reported earlier by JOL, both Turkey and Egypt condemned Israel for ‘slaughter’ and blamed it for the escalation of violence along the Gaza border. Turkey also blamed the US, and said that Washington’s decision to relocate its embassy to Jerusalem “prompted” Israeli forces to shoot at Palestinians.