US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley (AP/Sean Rayford)

The United States stood against a draft UN Security Council statement on Saturday expressing “grave concern” about the IDF’s response to violent rioting on the Gaza border.


The United States blocked a draft UN Security Council statement on Saturday expressing “grave concern at the situation on the border” following the ‘Land Day’ protest march in which some 30,000 protestors violently rioted at the Israel-Gaza border. Israeli forces killed as many as 17 armed protestors during the riots.

According to the AFP, the draft council statement presented by Kuwait called for an “independent and transparent investigation of the violence,” and “called upon all sides to exercise restraint and prevent a further escalation.” The draft also referred to the Palestinian “right to peaceful protest” and expressed “sorrow at the loss of innocent Palestinian lives.”

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on Saturday for “those concerned to refrain from any act that could lead to further casualties.”

In response to the calls for inquiry, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman explained that the “attempt to break through the fence” was specifically carried out to “harm our sovereignty.”

“Any state whose borders people tried to crash would act in an even more severe way than we did, and therefore the procession of hypocrites calling for a committee of inquiry must understand that there will be no such thing,” Lieberman stated. “There will not be any international inquiry. We will not cooperate with any inquiry of this kind.”

On Saturday night, the IDF posted the names and photos of 10 of the protesters killed, identifying them as members of known terrorist organizations. IDF spokeswoman Keren Hajiott, released a video statement on Facebook summarizing the riot and Israel’s response, stating that “the IDF has an obligation to protect the citizens of Israel, which is exactly what we did.”