The UN Human Rights Council’s Latest Libel against Israel

March 15 2019

Much like its predecessor, the UN Commission on Human Rights, the Human Rights Council (UNHRC)—whose current member nations include Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Cuba—dedicates much if not most of its time to condemning the Jewish state for imaginary crimes. Its recent report, produced by an “independent” commission of inquiry and concerning the violence along the Gaza border, is no exception. Alan Baker writes:

The commission’s legal assessment determines that the demonstrations [at the border fence] “were civilian in nature, had clearly stated political aims and, despite some acts of significant violence, did not constitute combat or a military campaign.” As such, the commission interprets the applicable legal framework to be that of law enforcement and policing, [rather than of] “combat or a military campaign.”

In making this curious assessment and determination, the commission totally ignores both the declared and documented intentions of the organizers as well as the declarations by the Hamas leadership calling upon the demonstrators to . . . charge the border fence, hurl explosive devices toward the Israeli soldiers guarding the fence, attach explosive devices to the fence, break through and infiltrate into Israeli territory, and attack and kill Israeli residents in towns and villages in the vicinity of the fence. . . .

In making their legal assessment, and in so downplaying the illegal nature of the demonstrations, the commission is, in effect, denying Israel’s sovereign right to defend its border against armed assault and to prevent illegal and violent infiltration into its sovereign territory.

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Read more at Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

More about: Gaza Strip, Israel & Zionism, UNHRC, United Nations

Despite What the UN Says, the Violence at the Gaza Border Is Military, Not Civilian, in Nature

March 22 2019

On Monday, a UN Human Rights Council commission of inquiry issued its final report on last spring’s disturbances at the Gaza border. Geoffrey Corn and Peter Margulies explain why the report is fatally flawed:

The commission framed the events [in Gaza] as a series of demonstrations that were “civilian in nature.” Israel and its Supreme Court, [which has investigated some of the killings that occurred], framed the same events quite differently: as a new evolution in Israel’s ongoing armed conflict with the terrorist organization Hamas. Consistency and common sense suggest that the Israeli High Court of Justice’s framing is a more rational explanation of what occurred at the Israel-Gaza border in spring 2018.

Kites, [for instance], played a telltale role [in the violence]. When most people think of kites, they think of a child’s plaything or a hobbyist’s harmless passion. In the Gaza confrontation, kites [became] a new and effective, albeit low-tech, tactic for attacking Israel. As the report conceded, senior Gaza leaders, including from Hamas, “encouraged” the unleashing of waves of incendiary kites that during and since the spring 2018 confrontations have burned thousands of acres of arable land within Israel. The resulting destruction included fires that damaged the Kerem Shalom border crossing, which conveys goods and gasoline from Israel to Gaza. . . .

Moreover, the incendiary-kite offensive was an effective diversion from the efforts encouraged and coordinated by Hamas last spring to pierce the border with Israel and attack both IDF personnel and the civilian residents of the beleaguered Israeli towns a short distance from the border fence. . . .

The commission also failed to acknowledge that Hamas sought to use civilians as an operational cover to move members of its armed wing into position along the fence. For IDF commanders, this increased the importance of preventing a breach [in the fence]. Large crowds directly along the fence would simplify breakthrough attempts by intermingled Hamas and other belligerent operatives. The crowds themselves also could attempt to pour through any breach. Unfortunately, the commission seems to have completely omitted any credible assessment of the potential casualties on all sides that would have resulted from IDF action to seal a breach once it was achieved. . . .

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Read more at Lawfare

More about: Gaza Strip, Hamas, Israel & Zionism, Israeli Security, Laws of war, UNHRC, United Nations