Amb Manor addresses the Human Rights Council
Hamas is committing war crimes when it fires rockets
and missiles indiscriminately at Israeli towns and villages. In ten
days, Hamas fired 2000 rockets - that's 2000 war crimes. And this Council sits in judgment of Israel?
Ambassador Eviatar Manor addresses the UN Human Rights Council
Copyright: Israel Mission to the UN, Geneva
Thank you, Mr. President.
The request to convene this Special
Session, and at this particular juncture, is a return to the knee jerk
reaction of this Council whenever Israel defends itself. Some members
demanding this Special Session are themselves no paragons of human
rights. Yet their Pavlovian instinct demands they react against Israel,
in order to divert attention from their own human rights violations. So,
we are back at our ritual of naming and shaming Israel.
2000 rockets raining on Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Beer Sheva from above
and murderous terrorists squads tunneling into our villages from below,
what can life-seeking Israelis do but go out and defend themselves?
began firing rockets on our towns and villages immediately after it had
abducted and killed three Israeli teenagers. In the weeks that
followed, Israel restrained itself. But after 300 rockets a day were
indiscriminately fired at Israeli civilians, Israel had no choice but to
Israel’s Government would not be doing its duty to
protect its citizens had it not done so. Every country has the duty to
defend itself and this principle is enshrined in international law. Any
other country in the world would have done the same.
committing war crimes when it fires rockets and missiles
indiscriminately at Israeli towns and villages. Hamas is protecting its
launching sites with the civilian residents of Gaza. Another war crime;
Hamas has built tunnels from Gaza into Israel, using them to try to
attack villages like Kerem Shalom and Sufa. Another war crime; in ten
days, Hamas fired 2000 rockets - that's 2000 war crimes. Hamas has
cynically concealed munitions in UNRWA schools, as UNRWA itself admitted
again yesterday. A war crime; Hamas used tons of concrete provided
as humanitarian aid to build a web of tunnels under hospitals, mosques,
schools, homes extending into Israel to be used to abduct and murder
Israelis. This, instead of building shelters for the residents of Gaza.
this Council sits in judgment of Israel? There can be no moral symmetry
between a terrorist aggressor and a democracy defending itself. Mr.
President, Madam High Commissioner, in the protection of the human
rights of Israelis, this Council and you, Madam, have failed dismally.
Israel’s restraint was met by Hamas aggression.
agreed to an Egyptian brokered cease fire to begin July 15. Hamas
rejected it outright. Israel agreed to a humanitarian cease fire July
17, but Hamas shot its way through it. It rejected Egyptian efforts on
the 17th when Israel sent top negotiators to Cairo with a view yet again
to conclude a cease fire. Hamas is determined to maximize murder and
mayhem. In these conditions, Israel had no option but to start ground
operations, confronting Hamas with a strong, unambiguous response.
will destroy Hamas' military infrastructure. However, the Gaza
residents are not our enemies. Israel is fully committed to
international law. Israeli commanders and soldiers are guided by
international law in their actions. In line with the requirements of
international law, IDF actions in Gaza are targeted solely against
military targets. The IDF makes great efforts to minimize any incidental
harm that may be caused to civilians as a result of an attack on a
military target. The IDF took all available precautionary measures and
has warned residents to leave prospective combat areas but Hamas urged
them to ignore Israeli warnings and remain in their homes, using
civilians as human shields.
Hamas bears the responsibility for
the injuries sustained by Gaza residents. Israel deeply regrets any
civilian losses caused by its operation, and has already started
investigating itself. We do not confront the Salvation Army but a brutal
terrorist organization. And lest we forget; Hamas is part of the
Palestinian unity government. Mr. Abbas should dissolve this government
and choose peace.
This Council has lost its bearings.
This Special Session is misguided, ill-conceived and counter-productive to efforts made as we speak to end hostilities.
Resolution in front of you is totally unbalanced, asymmetric and
destructive. It pours gasoline on the fire. It rewards the terrorist
aggressors and punishes the side which acts in order to protect its
This Council should stop looking for the coin under
the street lamp. It can regain its moral authority by unequivocally
condemning Hamas. It cannot be supportive of an organization that is no
different than al-Qa'ida, ISIS, Boko-Haram, Hezbollah, and other
extreme radical Islamist organizations that negate the very essence of
human rights as we know them and threaten democracy, the rule of law,
security and stability of a country, an entire region, and the whole
What this Council can do is reject outright and vote no on this absolutely one-sided Resolution.
What this Council cannot do is stop Israel from exercising its right to self-defense.
Thank you, Mr. President.