Senator Mike Lee calls 'Gaza violence' a product of manipulation
(KUTV)- Tensions remain high on the Gaza strip as Hamas claims 50 if its members died in Monday’s clashes.
Utah's Senator Mike Lee was in Israel as the violence played out early this week.
Wednesday, he spoke to 2 News Heidi Hatch in this week’s Connect To Congress where they talked about his trip and other issues front and center in Washington.
Monday as the US officially opened its Embassy in Jerusalem, Mike Lee was front and center with 3 of his Senate Colleagues,
During his visit, violence on the Gaza strip killed 62 people with unrest linked to the Embassy opening boiling to a critical point.
Lee who spoke with leaders during his visit said there is more to the violence than the videos you see posted online.
“Make no mistake” he said, “this was the product of manipulation by some so-called leaders within Gaza who are lying to their own people who in many instances were telling people that the Israeli army was in retreat and it was time for them to take over.”
Reports show that many rushed the border and that is when they were met with Israeli fire.
“There were things that day that were most unfortunate-my thoughts and prayers go out to the family.”
Lee believes the deaths part of a continued political manipulation saying the men who died “rushed the border and Israel defended itself. It was entirely preventable and unnecessary and indeed tragic.”
Lee joined the historic trip marking his support for the embassy that's been a political football for decades.
Now he says, “when President Trump made them bold - courageous and I believe correct decision to do that, a decision already called for by U.S law since 1995- we need to show our support to Israel by being there.”
Congress jointly passed the Jerusalem Embassy act in 1995 recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capitol and the site the US Embassy would call home, and yet every US President has declined to make it happen.
For Lee, the day was a long time in coming and calls his visit and “honor and pleasure” as he witnessed “that historic occasion.”
Lee also reacted to the latest maneuvers out of North Korea where there are signs the June 12th talks between President Trump and Kim Jong Un may not happen.
Lee applauds the President “for trying in their area” adding “Our pattern of appeasement and ignoring this regime has been in stark contrast to what this president has tried to do.”
Lee warns it’s “important to make sure we are not getting hoodwinked by somethings and it is important to go into this with our eyes wide open.”
“I don’t know exactly what will come of these talks but for reasons you point out there is some uncertainty as to whether they will happen at all. I hope they happen and hope good will come of it - that we can distract Kim Jong Un from his nuclear ambitions.
SENATE WORK BEFORE SUMMER BREAK
Senator Lee’s main goal before the Congressional summer break? Criminal justice reform. He has worked on the issue for years. He believes “we have a criminal justice system that has become distorted.”