UNHRC Commissioner Navi Pillay condemned Israel this week for its military activity in Gaza and called for an investigation into what she called the IDF’s possible “war crimes” in the terrorist-ruled region.
She had no problem cutting slack to Hamas for all of its terror, not the least of which includes the vicious attacks on its own people, and the use of its children, hospitals, sick patients, doctors and even its helpless animals as human shields.
Here’s the text of her statement, which was recorded in full by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).
“As we speak, the indiscriminate firing of Hamas and other armed groups of more than 2,900 rockets as well as mortars from Gaza continues to endanger the lives of civilians in Israel. I have repeatedly condemned such indiscriminate attacks in the past. I do so again today.
“I further emphasize that it is unacceptable to locate military assets in densely populated areas or to launch attacks from such areas.
“However, international law is clear. The actions of one party do not absolve the other party of the need to respect its obligations under international law.
“My staff are continuing to document several other cases in which family residences were destroyed with the reported loss of civilian life and in which preliminary indications suggest not even a single member of an armed group was present.
“Then just two days ago on 21 July, shells hit the Al Aqsa Hospital in Dir Al Bala reportedly killing at least three people and wounding dozens of others including doctors.
“These are just a few instances where there seems to be a strong possibility that international humanitarian law has been violated in a manner that could amount to war crimes.
“Every one of these incidents must be properly and independently investigated.”
Madame Pillay was selective in her condemnation, choosing not to mention the terrorist attacks on Israeli communities in sovereign Israeli territory.
She did not mention the incessant shelling of Israeli villages, towns and cities, the Israeli homes damaged, and the Jewish, Bedouin and Druze families that have been traumatized for life. In Israel, there is no exclusivity on trauma; Shuafat resident Muhhamad Abu Khdeira, a Jerusalem Muslim Arab teen murdered in a revenge attack by Jews a few weeks ago, was also officially designated a victim of terror. His family will receive the same state benefits as any other Israeli family.
Madame Pillay did not mention the dozens of ‘family residences destroyed’ in Israel thanks to Hamas rocket fire, all without ‘even a single member of an armed group present.’
No mention of the cross-border invasions by Hamas terrorists into Israeli territory, all the attempts to kidnap and murder Israeli citizens. In one case, the terrorists succeeded and now three Israeli teens are dead.
Nor did she mention that unprovoked attack, which took place last month.
Madame Pillay did not mention the thousands of flyers dropped by the IDF days in advance warning Gaza residents to leave the areas they plan to attack, the phone calls to their homes and the SMS text messages, all in Arabic, all of which also warns the enemy as well – all in order to prevent civilian deaths.
Oddly – perhaps she was embarrassed about it, who knows – Madame Pillay also did not mention that UNRWA – the United Nations’ own Relief and Works Agency, has been caught twice during routine inspections with two of its own schools in Gaza being used as storage facilities for terrorist missiles. The most recent occurrence was, in fact, Tuesday 22 July – the very day she quoted as the offensive date of Israel’s supposed ‘war crimes.’
In both cases, sources report that UNRWA chose to hand over the lethal ordnance to the very same Hamas terrorist organization that began this conflict – and which repeatedly refuses to end it with a cease fire agreement.
Interestingly, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon issued a statement in an attempt to exert some damage control.
Ban had the grace to at least express alarm that 20 rockets found last Thursday stashed in the UN’s Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) school in Rafah – located on the Gaza border with Egypt, where numerous terrorist tunnels have been built — had gone ‘missing.’
Ban, at least, had enough sense to order the world body to deploy experts to ‘deal with’ the situation. Of course, he too did not specify what that meant. But one can reasonably assume that as secretary-general of the UN, he is a bit more accountable to Western nations than is Pillay and will have to make a better show of explaining himself if he doesn’t figure out what his agency did with the ordnance.
Of course, it’s water under the bridge at this point. Those missiles are already gone, as are the second batch that was discovered two days ago in another UNRWA school. There were so many in that facility that UNRWA didn’t even bother to offer a number.
It will be interesting to see how the UN manages to square the issue of a UN agency committing war crimes, collaborating with a terrorist organization committing war crimes, and ignoring both while accusing the one party that actually isn’t committing the war crimes.Rachel Levy
About the Author: Rachel Levy is a freelance journalist who has written for Jewish publications in New York, New Jersey and Israel.
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