The recent Hamas terrorist attacks against Israel was the worst massacre of Jewish people since the Holocaust, said U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield at a recent Security Council meeting.
“Hamas terrorists slaughtered more than a thousand civilians, including American citizens. Entire families, children, babies, and the elderly. And Hamas took innocent people hostage, including American citizens and the citizens of several members of this Council. The brutality of Hamas brings to mind the most heinous atrocities committed by ISIS,” she said.
Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield added that “Hamas’ actions have led to the dire humanitarian crisis facing the people of Gaza.”
“Civilians should not have to suffer for Hamas’ atrocities. And this Council - and the entire international community - has a responsibility to help address this humanitarian crisis, unequivocally condemn Hamas, and reaffirm Israel’s inherent right to self-defense under the U.N. Charter,” she said.
The vast majority of families in Gaza are suffering through no fault of their own, stressed Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield. “We have called on countries in the region to allow and facilitate full, safe, and unhindered humanitarian access in Gaza – in line with the principles of humanity, impartiality, neutrality, and independence.”
The United States is working with Israel to ensure that it has what it needs to defend its people, and it has reiterated to Israel the need to protect civilian life, consistent with international humanitarian law, noted Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield. “Protection of civilians – and the protection of people who are trying to get to safety – must be a central focus for everyone involved.”
But Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield stressed, “you cannot claim to stand with the Palestinians and their legitimate aspirations if you do not stand squarely against Hamas.”
“Hamas does not stand for the Palestinian people’s rights to dignity and self-determination. The path of terror that Hamas is engaged on has not improved the life of a single person, nor done anything to advance peace and stability. On the contrary, all Hamas has ever brought to the Palestinian people, and the region, is misery, chaos, and destruction,” she said.
“[L]et us work together,” urged Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield, “to hold Hamas accountable for its terrorist acts against Israel and for standing in the way of the peace and stability that Israelis and Palestinians alike deserve.”