During the forty-plus days of war between Gaza and Israel in July-August, 2014, Arab officials repeatedly accused Israel of killing civilians (“Abbas: Israel committing genocide in Gaza”, Arutz Sheva, July 10, 2014). As a result of those accusations, the United Nations (UN) has accused Israel of war crimes (“As civilian casualties rise in Gaza, UN Rights Council agrees probe into alleged ‘war crimes’ “, UN News Centre, July 23, 2014).
But Hamas has also killed Gazan civilians (“Bennett: Hamas is Responsible for Civilian Deaths in Gaza”, Arutz Sheva, July 10, 2014). Dozens of Hamas missiles, aimed at Israel, never reached Israel. They fell into Gazan residential areas. They killed women and children.
Where was the UN?
This week, it’s been reported that Hamas killed at least 25 Gazan civilians suspected of being ‘collaborators’ with Israel (“PA Blasts Hamas for Executing 'Collaborators with Israel' “, Arutz Sheva, August 24, 2014). These killings had been done outside the legal system. They were summary executions. They were criminal acts against the civilian population of Gaza.
As of 1000 ET August 25, 2014, the UN has said nothing.
Why hasn’t the UN condemned Hamas for killing civilians? The Palestinian Authority has (ibid, above). The US State Department has (“State Department: Hamas is Responsible for Civilian Casualties”, Arutz Sheva, July 11, 2014). Even Human Rights Watch has condemned at least the summary executions (“Gaza: Halt Executions”, Human Rights Watch, ASugust 25, 2014). Why hasn’t the UN?
The accusation that Hamas rockets have fallen onto Gazans, killing women and children, does not come from Israel or the West. It comes from an Egyptian. Author Magdi Kahlil appeared on Al Jazeera TV on August 19, 2014 (see the MEMRI website for the video) to ask, how many civilian Gazan casualties were caused by Hamas?
It was a good question. Everyone says that some 2,000 Gazans have been killed by Israel through August 23, 2014. But what about those Hamas missiles that landed in Gaza? How many of those 2,000 casualties were caused by Hamas? Israel claims that as many as 300 Hamas rockets fell into Gaza. How many civilians died from those rockets?
This Egyptian writer didn’t know. But he did know that Hamas has fired missiles at Israel that landed in Gaza by mistake, killing Gazan civilians. He cited two examples. First, he said that a Gazan missile had landed in the Al-Shati refugee camp. It killed ten children. Another missile landed on Al-Shita Hospital. It killed four children. He asked, is it moral to launch missiles from hospitals, schools, bedrooms, mosques and from the roof of a church where thousands of Gazans had found refuge?
He said that the bishop of that church had been interviewed on CBN TV. The bishop himself said that Hamas was launching rockets at Israel from the roof of his church. Is this behaviour a moral high ground?
Well, that question also applies to the UN: where was the moral high ground of the UN?
This Egyptian writer asked, is it moral for Hamas leaders to hide in Al-Shita hospital? Is it a moral high ground to risk civilian lives in that way? He said, Hamas leaders are fleeing like rats, hiding behind patients in Gazan hospitals.
If this Egyptian can ask, is it moral for Hamas leaders to hide behind these patients, we can ask, is it moral for the UN to protect Hamas and criminalize Israel?
This Egyptian was angry—as well he should be. Hamas, he said, garners sympathy over the corpses of children. This is part of their strategy. They consider sympathy garnered over the corpses of children to be a victory.
He said, the whole world knows that Hamas does not care about the spirit of humanity. Hamas does not care about the children. It does not care about its people. What kind of honour is it if it is at the expense of children’s corpses?
Hamas, he declared, does not know the meaning of life. All it knows is the meaning of death. If you want to die, he told Hamas, go and die. Just don’t let the children die.
The whole world may indeed understand that Hamas does not care about the spirit of humanity. The whole world may also know that Hamas kills civilians. But the UN doesn’t know. The UN is deaf.
Hamas killed its own civilians as it tried to kill Israeli civilians. The UN then busied itself attacking Israel for defending itself (“UN Human Rights Commissioner Attacks Israel Over Self-Defense”, Arutz Sheva, July 11, 2014). The UN ignored Hamas.
Instead, the UN protected Hamas. The UN supported Hamas even as the Palestinian Authority (PA) envoy to the UNHRC, Ibrahim Khreisheh, declared that missiles being launched by Hamas at Israel constituted a crime against humanity (“WATCH: Palestinian diplomat admits Hamas war crimes”, YNET, July 13, 2014).
What’s going on here? The US knows that Hamas uses human shields to kill civilians for propaganda (see above). The Palestinian Authority knows (see above). Israel knows (see above). An Egyptian writer knows.
Why is it that only the UN doesn’t know?