UN report slams Israel, but also Hamas, over Gaza protests

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has circulated, but not yet published, his report that blames both sides for the conflict.

By: Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

A UN report is poised to criticize Israel for its conduct during the violent rioting by Gazans at the border fence, but it also places blame on Hamas, according to Israel’s Channel 10, which acquired a copy of the document.

The report, authored by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, censures Gaza’s Hamas government for its part in the deadly conflict. Hamas has “inflamed and encouraged a highly volatile situation that contributed to violent actions at the fence and risked a serious escalation,” said the report.

According to Channel 10, the report also hit Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas for his part in the humanitarian crisis in Gaza by withholding the salaries of government employees in the coastal enclave.

The report was mandated by the December 2016 Security Council Resolution 2334, which called on Israel to “immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem.”

Former US President Barack Obama, in his last days in office, instructed the US to abstain on the motion, allowing it to pass 14-0. Jerusalem vociferously criticized the move at the time, with Minister Yuval Steinitz saying that the US had “abandoned Israel, its only ally in the Middle East,” and that its behavior was not that of a friend.

Since President Donald Trump came into office, however, the US has been delaying the UN’s publication of an update on the situation in Israel and on its borders – until now. The document was given first to members of the Security Council, Channel 10 reported.

In it, Guterres reportedly deals mainly with the Gaza Strip and the recent violence on its border with Israel that the IDF has repelled with riot dispersal methods as well as live fire when necessary.

The UN chief put the onus on Israel to “exercise maximum restraint” and use lethal force only when under “imminent threat of death or serious injury.”

Protecting its citizens is acceptable, he says, but only “with due respect of international humanitarian law.”

Israel’s position has been that all methods, including lethal ones, are justifiable to protect the border and prevent infiltration of terrorists seeking to kill or kidnap.