Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz criticized a newly released United Nations report on Monday that concluded Israel committed war crimes against Palestinians during a 2018 protest despite Hamas’s use of human shields.
“This U.N. report is on its face absurd and dishonest and we know because they have been doing it for a long time,” Cruz said on a telephone call hosted by the Jewish Institute for National Security of America. “Hamas and Hezbollah use human shields as a deliberate tactic. They use innocent Palestinian civilians, to put them in harm’s way, because they intend to exploit those human shields for when they are injured or killed when Israel defends itself.”
The United Nations Human Rights Council determined in the report that Israel used “excessive force” during the nine-month period in question. Over that time, Israeli security forces shot and wounded 6,016 protesters in Gaza and “there was no justification” for Israel’s use of force. The report did acknowledge Hamas encouraged Palestinian protesters to cause use incendiary kites, which caused “fear among civilians and significant damage to property in southern Israel.”
“The United Nations long has been a reservoir of deep anti-Israel animus,” Cruz continued. “This report today is yet another example of that.”
The Human Rights Council adopted a resolution in May 2018 after President Donald Trump relocated the United States Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a move that inspired thousands of Palestinians to riot and ultimately storm the Gaza-Israel border.
Hamas preemptively offered compensation to the families of Palestinians who were injured or killed during the demonstration — a spokesperson for the terrorist organization revealed the payment rates would be as high as $3,000, reported The Jerusalem Post. Humans were also reportedly used as shields, a concept that Cruz acknowledged.
“It is a repeated and deliberate strategy of Hamas to use human shields,” the Texas senator said. “The U.N. report ignores that reality.”
United States officials have maintained that Israeli Defense Forces acted appropriately.
“America stands with Israel for many reasons, but none more important than standing with Israel furthers our own national security interests,” Cruz added.
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