Palestinian resistance faction Hamas on Saturday condemned the U.S. for vetoing a U.N. Security Council resolution calling for an investigation into Israel's acts of violence in the Gaza Strip.
Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem said by blocking the resolution, the U.S. is complicit in Israel's attacks against unarmed civilians in Gaza.
He said by blocking the Security Council's condemnation Friday of Israel's actions against civilian demonstrators in Gaza, the U.S. is "taking part in the attacks against our people," as reported by Anadolu Agency (AA).
The U.S. for the second week in a row blocked a Security Council statement supporting the right of Palestinians to demonstrate peacefully and endorsing Secretary-General Antonio Guterres' call for an independent investigation into the deadly protests in Gaza.
Washington was the only member of the 15-member Security Council to reject the statement condemning Israel's response to the March for Return demonstrations. Qassem also accused the U.S. of "encouraging the occupation to continue with its crimes."
The Palestinian Foreign Ministry has called on the international community to find a new formula that would deny the U.S. the right to veto Security Council resolutions, demanding the establishment of an independent inquiry commission on events in Gaza. If it fails to do so, the Security Council would become helpless and lose credibility, the ministry said in a statement. It also condemned the U.S. for vetoing a Security Council resolution for a second time and noted that Washington has covered up massacres of Palestinians by Israeli forces. The U.S. has rejected a request by the Security Council for an independent and transparent investigation into violent incidents in which dozens of Palestinians have been martyred by Israel's disproportionate use of force in the Gaza Strip since March 30.
Days after at least nine Palestinians, including a journalist, were killed by Israeli troops during protests in the Gaza Strip, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman rejected calls for an independent investigation into the journalist's death. Lieberman said yesterday there were "no innocent people" in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip after 10 days of protests and clashes left 30 Palestinians dead. "There are no innocent people in the Gaza Strip," Lieberman told Israel's public radio, AFP reported.
Tens of thousands of Palestinians are participating a in a six-week-long border protest that will culminate on May 15, the day after Israeli Independence Day, which is marked by Palestinians as the "Nakba" or catastrophe.
Israel has faced mounting questions over its use of live fire. Human rights groups have harshly criticized the Israeli soldiers' actions, and Palestinians say protesters are being shot while posing no threat to troops. On Saturday, the European Union raised questions over whether Israeli troops engaged in the "proportionate use of force."