During an emergency UN Security Council meeting on Wednesday evening, which came at the request of Egypt and other Muslim nations after Israel launched more than 20 airstrikes on the blockaded territory, the American envoy blamed Hamas for firing small projectiles at Israel in response to nearly daily Israeli raids against the Palestinian population in Gaza.
Rice, who is considered as a candidate for replacing Hillary Clinton as the US Secretary of State, went so far as proclaiming to defend “the Palestinian cause,” saying, “Hamas claims to have the best interests of the Palestinian people at heart, yet it continues to engage in violence that does nothing but set back the Palestinian cause.”
At the emergency meeting, the Palestinian Authority’s UN Ambassador Riyad Mansour said, “Once again the international community is witness to Israel’s malicious onslaught, using the most lethal military means and illegal measures against the defenseless Palestinian civilian population.”
He urged the council to take immediate action, adding, “A direct firm message must be sent to Israel to cease immediately its military campaign against the Palestinian people and to abide… by its obligations under international law.”
“The Israeli occupying forces are now mobilizing on the ground as we speak,” Mansour emphasized. “Fear and panic are spreading among the Palestinian civilian population.”
The American envoy’s anti-Palestinian remarks came as Arab ambassadors at the UN urged the Security Council to condemn Israel’s repeated military aggression against the impoverished Palestinian territory, which killed at least 13 people, including a senior Hamas commander. Many others have also been injured as a result of the Israeli attacks since Wednesday.
This is while Rice merely repeated customary Israeli publicity rhetoric, accusing “Hamas and other terrorist organizations” for violence against the Tel Aviv regime.
She further alluded, inadvertently, to the fact that Palestinians are living under the occupation and oppression of the Israeli regime, saying, “Attacking Israel on a near daily basis does nothing to help Palestinians in Gaza nor to move the Palestinian people any closer to achieving self determination and independence.”
Meanwhile, newly reelected US President Barack Obama spoke to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Wednesday night in a telephone call, reportedly backing Tel Aviv’s military measures against the Palestinian population in Gaza as “self-defense.”
This is while UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called for an “immediate de-escalation of tensions.”