An Inside Look at How the United Nations Ignores Hamas’s Depredations

In May of last year, the UN Human Rights Council established a commission of inquiry dedicated to investigating “alleged violations” of international humanitarian law and human-rights law “leading up to and since April 12, 2021” in Israel and what it terms “the Occupied Palestinian Territories.” The commission recently released the first of its reports, which, as could be expected, finds extensive but dubious Israeli wrongdoing, while ignoring Hamas’s war crimes and abuses of its own people. Joe Truzman provides a window into how this happens:

UN investigators have difficulty processing information that points toward misconduct by Palestinian armed factions. Four years ago, a UN team investigating the violent 2018-2019 Gaza protests interviewed me to discuss my research. The team was looking at the role of Palestinian militant organizations in fomenting the unrest, commonly known as the Great March of Return.

The lead investigator questioned me on a range of subjects related to the riots, such as how I obtained evidence of terrorist activity at the Gaza border and my opinion on how Palestinian militant organizations were involved in the Gaza protests. My evidence was derived from various open-source channels, and it was compelling: Hamas and like-minded militant groups such as Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) were orchestrating attacks at the security fence between Israel and Gaza under the guise of civilian protest.

The UN investigators conducted interviews with participants from both sides of the conflict, as well as independent analysts. They obtained thousands of documents. Yet their final report in 2019 said almost nothing about the role of Hamas and other militants in orchestrating riots that targeted Israeli troops and installations. Instead, the report focused on Israel’s responses without explaining that Hamas-led militant activity was largely responsible for spurring the clashes.

Read more at 19FortyFive

More about: Hamas, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, UNHRC, United Nations

Why Egypt Fears an Israeli Victory in Gaza

While the current Egyptian president, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, has never been friendly to Hamas, his government has objected strenuously to the Israeli campaign in the southernmost part of the Gaza Strip. Haisam Hassanein explains why:

Cairo has long been playing a double game, holding Hamas terrorists near while simultaneously trying to appear helpful to the United States and Israel. Israel taking control of Rafah threatens Egypt’s ability to exploit the chaos in Gaza, both to generate profits for regime insiders and so Cairo can pose as an indispensable mediator and preserve access to U.S. money and arms.

Egyptian security officials have looked the other way while Hamas and other Palestinian militants dug tunnels on the Egyptian-Gaza border. That gave Cairo the ability to use the situation in Gaza as a tool for regional influence and to ensure Egypt’s role in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict would not be eclipsed by regional competitors such as Qatar and Turkey.

Some elements close to the Sisi regime have benefited from Hamas control over Gaza and the Rafah crossing. Media reports indicate an Egyptian company run by one of Sisi’s close allies is making hundreds of millions of dollars by taxing Gazans fleeing the current conflict.

Moreover, writes Judith Miller, the Gaza war has been a godsend to the entire Egyptian economy, which was in dire straits last fall. Since October 7, the International Monetary Fund has given the country a much-needed injection of cash, since the U.S. and other Western countries believe it is a necessary intermediary and stabilizing force. Cairo therefore sees the continuation of the war, rather than an Israeli victory, as most desirable. Hassanein concludes:

Adding to its financial incentive, the Sisi regime views the Rafah crossing as a crucial card in preserving Cairo’s regional standing. Holding it increases Egypt’s relevance to countries that want to send aid to the Palestinians and ensures Washington stays quiet about Egypt’s gross human-rights violations so it can maintain a stable flow of U.S. assistance and weaponry. . . . No serious effort to turn the page on Hamas will yield the desired results without cutting this umbilical cord between the Sisi regime and Hamas.

Read more at Washington Examiner

More about: Egypt, Gaza War 2023, U.S. Foreign policy