Letter to UN: Hamas Guilty of War Crimes

A Gaza Belt leader asks the UN why it doesn’t charge Hamas with war crimes for firing phosphorus explosives on civilians.

Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu ,

White Phosphorous
White Phosphorous
Israel news photo: Wikimedia

A Gaza Belt leader has asked the United Nations why it doesn’t charge Hamas with war crimes for firing phosphorus explosives on civilians this past Sunday.

In a letter addressed to United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Eshkol Regional Council chairman Chaim Jelin wrote, “The Israel Defense Forces, charged with protecting the residents of the State of Israel, are criticized and judged due to their being the military of a UN member state. In contrast, Hamas, the ‘neighborhood bully,’ is not subject to international laws, and feels free to use illegal weaponry against an innocent civilian population – without being judged or criticized by any international body.”

The phosphorous material was found on the remains of two mortar shells fired towards farmers working their fields Sunday morning. No one was wounded in the attacks. Jelin reminded Ban, “As you know, use of phosphorus as munitions directed at civilians is prohibited by the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (Geneva, October 1980)."

“The sole interest of the residents is to work their agricultural lands in peace. These lands provide them with their livelihood, their daily bread,” Jelin wrote, pointing out that all of the communities near Gaza have been under constant rocket fire and mortar shelling for more than 10 years.

“I request of you to receive this complaint as the internationally accepted method of protest, in our democratic and enlightened world, for the purpose of condemning use of illegal weapons and enforcing international rules even on our neighbors to the west.”

Sunday's attacks were not the first time Israelis have been subject to illegal phosphorous explosives. They were found in Kassam rockets more than a year ago.