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Friday, January 23, 2009

Has the UN ever accused Hamas of "war crimes"?

The UN has been busy accusing Israel of "war crimes."

Yesterday, the UN’s Special Rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories, Richard Falk, said "I believe that there is the prima facie case" that Israel committed "systematic war crimes" in Gaza, and defined every one of Gaza's 1.5 million residents as casualties because of their "psychological trauma. " He made this determination from his home in California.

Meanwhile, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has called for a probe into alleged Israeli "war crimes," and the head of the UN Relief and Works Agency in Gaza has also said he was "concerned" about possible war crimes. Today, the United Nations Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs is expected to give a press conference about his concerns as well. Earlier, the UN Human Rights Council voted to investigate "grave human rights violations" done by Israel.

This is a lot of energy and time that the UN is using to accuse one side of war crimes and human rights obligations. By any objective measure, however, Hamas' war crimes are much more obvious, widespread and numerous than the worst that UN officials incessantly accuse Israel of.

Here is a list of war crimes and grave violations of humanitarian law that are not only well known but many of which Hamas openly admits to and brags about:
  • Deliberately targeting civilians
  • Attacking from within civilian areas and civilian structures, including hospitals and mosques
  • Using humanitarian symbols for attacks, such as by transporting terrorists in ambulances
  • Direct and public incitement to genocide
  • The systematic attacks against civilians upgrades that war crime into a crime against humanity
  • The recruitment of children into the conflict
  • Firing at the enemy while wearing civilian clothes
  • Wearing the uniforms of the enemy
  • Shooting rockets with phosphorus payloads deliberately at civilians
  • Not adhering to international standards on the treatment of prisoners of war
  • Immediate execution of alleged "collaborators" without a trial
  • Deliberately placing military targets, such as weapons caches and rocket launchers, among civilians
The worst I could find that the UN has said about Hamas was that rocket attacks against civilian targets are "unlawful." Usually the word "Hamas" is barely mentioned in these statements. No, the rocket attacks against civilians are "unlawful," sort of like jaywalking, and they happen by themselves being mentioned in a passive voice.

When will we be seeing the UN accusing Hamas of the obvious war crimes they have committed? When will we see UN officials call numerous press conferences that accuse Palestinian Arab groups of war crimes without mentioning Israel? When will we see committees set up for the purpose of investigating exposing Arab terror alone?

Only when the UN does so can we possibly entertain the idea that the UN is an honest, evenhanded organization that is truly concerned with violations of war crimes. Not by them mentioning as an aside that Hamas also does some not-so-nice things which do not justify Israel's actions, but when they focus on the many Arab terrorist war crimes exclusively as they have focused on Israel.

As it is, the UN in this context is simply a hate organization with a single-minded goal on vilifying the Jewish state alone.