Head of UN Human Rights Council pays little heed to rockets fired at Israeli civilians but says Israel’s actions against Hamas in Gaza “may constitute war crimes.”
By Paul Shindman, World Israel News
The head of the United Nations Human Rights Council Council on Wednesday again knuckled under to anti-Israel pressure and said Israel “may” have committed war crimes in its efforts to stop Hamas rocket fire at Israeli civilians.
In a long-winded comment during a special session at the UNHRC council in Geneva, the High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet of Chile blamed Israel for starting the conflict by inflaming tensions in Jerusalem and that “as a result, Hamas and other armed groups had launched a heavy rocket barrage towards Israel.”
Bachelet’s comments were rife with the anti-Israel talking points, although she acknowledged that Israel attacked Gaza “in response” to the Hamas rockets and had taken care to avoid civilian casualties.
“Government buildings, residential homes and apartments, humanitarian organizations, medical and media facilities were totally or partially destroyed, despite Israel’s precautions – these attacks may constitute war crimes,” Bachelet said in her remarks that were posted to the UNHRC website.
While Bachelet also noted that Hamas “military assets in densely populated civilian areas, and launching attacks from them, was also a violation of international humanitarian law,” she neglected to say that the deliberate firing of thousands of rockets at Israeli civilians was also an obvious war crime.
Israel’s ambassador the UN’s Geneva office, Meirav Eilon Shahar, said the UNHRC was again presented with “a false moral equivalence.”
“As a matter of fact, an immoral equivalence, between Israel, a democracy that seeks peace and abides by international law, and a murderous, extreme terrorist organization,” tweeted Eilon Shahar.
“Thirty per cent of all Human Rights Council special sessions targeted Israel,” Eilon Shahar told the session, saying that the UNHRC ignoring the facts on the ground failing to condemn Hamas “would be unacceptable,” adding that Israel would continue to defend its people while adhering to international law.
Hillel Neuer, the director of the watchdog agency UN Watch that monitors and reports on the bias and wrongdoings of the international body, noted the hypocrisy of the Palestinian representatives who claimed that Israel had deliberately targeted Palestinian children.
“People who embed themselves in civilian areas to fire 4,400 rockets targeting Israeli families may not be sincere when they cry out “Children! Look what you did to children!” Neuer tweeted.
“By targeting Israeli civilians and using its own civilians as human shields, Hamas rocket fire constitutes a double war crime,” said UN Watch, noting that Hamas rockets that fell short in Gaza also killed at least 16 Gaza civilians, including eight children.