Was 'liars' remark directed at Haley? Palestinian ambassador won't say

The Palestinian ambassador to the United Nations on Friday would not clarify if a reference he made about two U.N. ambassadors as being liars was aimed at U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley.

Instead of answering direct questions on the accusation, Ambassador Riyad Mansour said only that Haley’s speech Thursday to the U.N. Security Council was “not credible.”

Mansour had called a news conference to discuss the deteriorating situation on the Gaza-Israel border, where thousands of Palestinians protested Friday. Hundreds reportedly tried to storm into Israel during the weekly demonstration.

During the “Great March of Return,” Israeli security forces reportedly killed three Palestinians, with some 300 injured as they tried to break through the border fence from Gaza.

Referring to Thursday’s Security Council debate on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestine question, Mansour told reporters that while he appreciated the support his delegation received at the council, he was not so impressed with two other delegations. Without referring to the U.S. and Israel by name, he went onto say that, “We challenge the liars who advocated lies in the Security Council yesterday.”

In an undated photo, Palestinian Ambassador Riyad Mansour converses with U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley.

In an undated photo, Palestinian Ambassador Riyad Mansour converses with U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley. (Associated Press)

Haley’s speech during the Security Council on Thursday centered on the use of human shields by terrorist groups such as Hamas, Hezbollah and ISIS. She said the terrorists hide behind innocent women, children and men to further their cause.

Haley in part said that, “Anyone who truly cares about children in Gaza should insist that Hamas immediately stop using children as cannon fodder in its conflict with Israel.”

“Anyone who truly cares about children in Gaza should insist that Hamas immediately stop using children as cannon fodder in its conflict with Israel.”

— Nikki Haley, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations

Upon being asked if he was calling Haley a liar, Mansour told reporters that Haley's speech on Thursday, “created a very strong resentment among the entire Palestinian nation.”

Pushed again for a yes-or-no answer by another journalist, Mansour said only that Haley’s speech was “not credible.”

He said, “With regard to Ambassador Haley, the fact that she goes on the tangent that she did, without saying a single word about who is creating this hardship, and the tragedy for the Palestinian people including children -- and not to site a single case of Palestinian children and their suffering at the hands of the Israeli occupying authority -- would make her whole story not credible, in addition to being extremely insensitive.”

The U.S. Mission to the U.N. did not respond to a Fox News request for comment, but a senior GOP congressional staffer said that, “The entire U.S. federal government, including even the Supreme Court, has been reviewing how much money we should be giving the Palestinians, because they spend it on terrorism, and how much money the Palestinians owe our citizens, again because of their terrorism. Now is probably not the best time for their officials to double-down on insulting our incredibly popular, incredibly influential U.N. ambassador, which is something they've been doing for months.”

In a February interview with a Palestinian news site, Saeb Erekat, a senior Palestinian official, reportedly told Haley to “shut up,” in response to her criticism of Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority.

A few days later Haley shot back during a Security Council meeting with Abbas in attendance.

Haley said, “I will decline the advice I was recently given by your top negotiator, Saeb Erekat. I will not shut up. Rather, I will respectfully speak some hard truths.”

“I will decline the advice I was recently given by your top negotiator, Saeb Erekat. I will not shut up. Rather, I will respectfully speak some hard truths.”

— Nikki Haley, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations

The Palestinian envoy to the world body did, however, admit to calling his Israeli counterpart, Ambassador Danny Danon, a liar for his remarks at Thursday’s Security Council meeting.

In response to his Palestinian counterpart, Danon told Fox News in a statement that, “I will continue to proudly stand up for truth against attempts by the Palestinian representative to slander Israel at the U.N. as he advocates for the terrorists of Hamas, who cower behind women and children and use them as human shields.”