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US lauds Israel's 'restraint' - after 60 Palestinians killed in Gaza clashes

US starkly out of step with other nations

A day after Israeli forces killed as many as 60 Palestinians in Gaza, America's envoy to the United Nations praised Israel's actions as Britain and France called for restraint.  

"No country in this chamber would act with more restraint than than Israel has," Nikki Haley said.

Washington placed full blame for the violence on the Hamas militant organization, the Islamist group that governs the Gaza Strip.

Hamas had urged Palestinians to try to cross the fence separating Israel and the Gaza Strip to protest the opening of a new U.S. embassy in Jerusalem.

Israeli forces tried to repel the protesters with tear gas and sniper fire.

The clashes marked the bloodiest day for Palestinians since 2014. 

"But let's remember, that the Hamas terrorist organization has been inciting violence for years, long before the United States decided to move our embassy."

Ambassador Haley's position, refusing to condemn Israel's response, put the US starkly out of step with other nations, who urged Israel to do more to prevent the loss of life.

France's foreign minister condemned the "unjustified, disproportionate actions of the Israeli army."

And Britain's Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May expressed her concerns.

"And while we do not question the right of Israel to protect it's borders, the use of live fire and the resulting loss of life is deeply troubling."

The US State Department chose different words.  

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu likes to say his nation has never enjoyed closer ties to the U.S. than under President Donald Trump.

That shift in relations between Washington and Jerusalem could put further strain on America's ties with its allies in Europe, who have often looked to the US for help resolving eruptions of violence in the region.

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