PM responds to UN Human Rights Council report on IDF actions and response to Palestinian protests in Gaza; IDF condemns report; Report to be presented to Council in March.

The United Nations Human Rights Council released a report claiming Israel has violated international law during its responses to protests and riots as part of the “Great March of Return” in the Gaza Strip.

The report was created by the UN Independent Commission of Inquiry and was released on Thursday night, claiming Israel has not only violated international law but called for an investigation into the Israel Defense Forces’ (IDF) actions. The report claims that during Palestinian protests and riots along the border fence between March 30, 2018, through December 31, 2018, the IDF and “security forces committed serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law.”
The report cites that only “some demonstrators flew kites or balloons carrying burning rags or coals wrapped in chicken wire towards Israel, damaging Israeli property, including agricultural land,” with no mention of the 1,000’s of acres destroyed and the devastation caused from the fires. It also claims these acts were carried out independently and not by an “armed terrorist group,” a known lie. The report refers to Israel’s defense and attempts to keep the calm on the border as “Israeli forces continued to employ live ammunition against demonstrators, killing and wounding civilians, including children, journalists and health workers, and leaving many with permanent disabilities.” There is no mention of children being paid by Hamas to get injured along the border and little mention of infiltration and terror activity.

Chairperson for the Commission, Santiago Canton, claimed that “The Commission finds that these protests were a call for help from a population in despair,” however that “Not only Israel but also the de facto authorities led by Hamas and the Palestinian Authority have responsibilities towards them.”

The report will be presented to the United Nations Human Rights Council on March 18, 2018.

Prime Minister Netanyahu condemned the report ahead of the weekend, stating “Israel rejects outright the UN Human Rights Council report. The Council is setting new records for hypocrisy and mendacity, out of an obsessive hatred of Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East. It is Hamas which fires missiles at Israeli citizens, throws explosive devices and carries out terrorist activity during the violent demonstrations along the fence.” He added, “Israel will not allow Hamas to attack Israel’s sovereignty and its people, and will maintain the right of self-defense. IDF soldiers will continue to vigorously defend Israeli citizens against attack by Hamas and the [other] terrorist organizations financed by Iran, which declares its intention to destroy Israel.”

The IDF also responded to the ludicrous report, reiterating “While orchestrating the riots on Israel’s border, Hamas was also responsible for firing over 1,300 rockets and mortars from Gaza into Israel during 2018. The number of times that this was mentioned in the UN Human Rights Council report. Zero.” In a detailed IDF report, details of terror and violence from Palestinians in the Gaza Strip were released last week. The report cites in the last two months alone “activities in the Gaza border area have been occurring on an almost nightly basis as well. These activities have included laying explosives in the border area, burning tires, and launching projectiles at IDF forces.”

Photo: Roman Yanushevsky/