White House: Palestinians responsible for Israel’s massacre of Gaza protesters
Tuesday 15/May/2018 - 12:15 PM
The White House has defended Israel’s deadly crackdown on protesters in the Gaza Strip، laying the blame on Palestinians for partaking in demonstrations “organized” by the Islamic resistance movement Hamas، according to "Press TV".
On Monday، as the US celebrated the opening of its new Israeli embassy in Jerusalem al-Quds، thousands of Gazans gathered at the border with Israel to slam the move.
The peaceful protests turned deadly when Israeli military forces started to gun down people indiscriminately، killing 59 protesters and injuring over 2،700 more. To put that in perspective، the Israeli regime’s forces had killed 53 protesters between March 30 and May 13.
"We believe that Hamas is responsible for what's going on،" White House deputy press secretary Raj Shah said in a press briefing. "We believe that Hamas as an organization is engaged in cynical action that is leading to these deaths."
“Hamas is intentionally and cynically provoking this response،” he claimed، adding، that “Israel has the right to defend itself." The Monday rally was part of a six-week protest called the “Great march of Return،” which began on March 30 and would go on until the Nakba Day (Day of Catastrophe) May 15، a day after the 70th anniversary of Israel’s creation in 1948.
Protesters demanded an end to the decades-long Israeli occupation of their lands and properties.
Hamas had encouraged Palestinians to partake in the event to raise international awareness about the tragic life conditions in Gaza، which has been under Israeli siege for over a decade.
In his press briefing، the White House spokesman did not explain why Hamas، which is designated as a terrorist group by both the US and Israel، was responsible for the sheer brutality that Israeli forces put on display by opening fire on the crowd. Israeli military officials، however، said the killings were justified since they deemed the protests as cover for a "terrorist operation."
UN Security Council to hold meeting
Meanwhile، member of the United Nations Security Council have called for an emergency meeting to address the situation، a Palestinian envoy said Monday.
Riyad Mansour، the permanent observer of the State of Palestine to the United Nations، told reporters Monday that the meeting would take place "possibly within the next 24 hours."
US ramps up security out of fear
The opening ceremony of the new US embassy was held amid tightened security measures by Israeli and American officials.
The US military announced later on Monday that an unspecified number of US Marines had been dispatched to a number of countries in the region to protect US embassies against possible attacks.