Israel demands UN condemn Hamas’s use of children, civilians as human shields
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Israel demands UN condemn Hamas’s use of children, civilians as human shields

Danny Danon writes to Security Council warning terror group is in breach of international law; vows 'Israel will take all necessary steps to ensure safety of our citizens'

A girl raises a Palestinian flag as another Palestinian boy holds a wooden key symbolizing the return, as they stand with others before the barbed-wire marking the border between the Gaza strip and Israel east of Gaza City on May 13, 2018. (AFP/Mahmud Hams)
A girl raises a Palestinian flag as another Palestinian boy holds a wooden key symbolizing the return, as they stand with others before the barbed-wire marking the border between the Gaza strip and Israel east of Gaza City on May 13, 2018. (AFP/Mahmud Hams)

Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon on Sunday called on the Security Council to condemn the Hamas terror group for its use of children as human shields during mass protests along the Gaza border fence.

Danon sent a letter to the top UN council calling on it “to condemn Hamas’s use of civilians and children.”

The Israeli military is gearing up for fierce “March of Return” protests along the Gaza security fence on Monday, with more than 100,000 Palestinians expected to take part, and dire warnings from the IDF that hundreds plan to try breach the fence and carry out a “massacre” of Israeli civilians.

The protests are now set for Monday, to coincide with the move of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and not on Tuesday’s Nakba Day, as was originally planned.

Danny Danon, Israel’s ambassador to the UN, speaks at the General Assembly on December 21, 2017, at United Nations headquarters. (AP Photo/ Mark Lennihan)

Danon wrote to the council that “during these protests, expected to escalate as part of the ‘Days of Rage’ declared by the Palestinian leadership, Hamas, the internationally recognized terrorist organization, plans to exploit innocent Palestinian children as human shields and place them directly in harm’s way.”

The ambassador stressed that Hamas’ use of human shields was in violation of international law.

“Hamas is committing grave violations of international law,” he said. “Their terrorists continue to hide behind innocent children to ensure their own survival and their leaders incite the people of Gaza to violence.”

He also informed the security council that Israel will take whatever steps are necessary to protect its citizens.

“The riots, tunnels and deliberate brainwashing of Palestinian youth pose a direct threat to our security, and we will continue to take all necessary steps to ensure the safety of our citizens,” he said.

Israel says Hamas uses the marches as cover for terrorist attacks.

A Palestinian uses a slingshot to hurl stones at Israeli troops near Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, during the fifth straight Friday of mass riots along the border between Gaza and Israel, on April 27, 2018. (AFP Photo/Said Khatib)

The Israel Defense Forces expects over 100,000 Palestinians to take part in the mass demonstrations and potentially as many as 200,000, something that would indicate a major victory for the Hamas terrorist group, which rules Gaza and has co-opted what were originally to be nonviolent protests for its own ends.

The army’s primary fear during the expected riots is that dozens or hundreds of Palestinians, including Hamas members, will break through the Gaza security fence and wreak havoc in one of the Israeli communities on the other side, attacking residents, starting fires, and destroying buildings.

An Islamist terror group which seeks to destroy Israel, Hamas violently took control of Gaza from Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah in 2007, two years after Israel withdrew its military and civilian presence from the Strip. Israel and Egypt maintain a security blockade of Gaza. Israel says this is vital to prevent Hamas — which has fought three rounds of conflict against Israel since seizing Gaza, firing thousands of rockets into Israel and digging dozens of attack tunnels under the border — from importing weaponry.

The Israeli military has faced international and domestic criticism over its use of live fire, with the United Nations and European Union calling for an independent investigation rejected by Israel.

Judah Ari Gross contributed to this report.

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