Hamas must stop its “outrageous practice” of using Palestinians in Gaza, particularly children, as human shields when it attacks Israel, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley told the Security Council on Thursday, at its monthly meeting on the Middle East.

“Anyone who truly cares about children in Gaza should insist that Hamas immediately stop using children as cannon fodder in its conflict with Israel,” Haley said. “This is an issue that transcends the usual debates in this chamber. It is quite simply an issue of decency. Humanity itself loses when the barbaric practice of human shields is tolerated and unanswered.”

She also took to task ISIS, Iran and Houthi gunmen in Yemen for their use of human shields, saying the practice had reached epic proportions in the region.

“It’s difficult to think of a more cowardly act – even for a terrorist – than hiding behind innocent civilians,” Haley said. “Anyone who cares about the lives of Yemenis or Palestinians should demand accountability for the militants who exploit them.”

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