Blaming the victim?
UN bashes Israel for 'excessive force'

UN spokesperson demands Israel investigate its defense against terror wave, berating security for killing 16 of 17 Hevron attackers.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

The UN voiced deep concern Tuesday over an "unacceptable" wave of Palestinian Arab terrorists attacking Israelis, but also slammed Israeli authorities' "excessive use of force" in trying to defend civilians from certain death.

"We continue to be gravely concerned at the unrelenting violence in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and in Israel," Cecile Pouilly, spokeswoman for the UN human rights office, told reporters.

"We call on both Israeli and Palestinian leaders to act decisively to de-escalate the situation," she added.

Pouilly stressed that since October 1, 117 Palestinian Arabs have died in the almost daily Arab terror attacks, a figure that consists of terrorists shot in the act or rioting and attacking Israeli security forces. She said that 21 Israelis, an American Jewish teen and an Eritrean were killed in the attacks, and thousands more have been wounded.

She warned that although international attention appeared to be waning, "the level of killings, injuries and arrests has continued, with an average of one person dying every day."

"The unacceptable wave of stabbings, shootings and car rammings continues to kill and injure Israelis," she said, but added that "the response from Israeli security forces has resulted in alleged attackers, protesters and even bystanders being killed and injured."

She pointed out that in the H2 area of Hevron in Judea alone, 16 of the 17 Palestinian terrorists involved in attacks against Israelis since October 1 were shot dead, while one had been injured and arrested.

"We again voice deep concern over reports of excessive use of force by Israeli forces," Pouilly said, voicing Palestinian Authority (PA) claims attempting to delegitmize Israeli self-defense activities.

She insisted that "all instances of the use of force resulting in death or injury by law enforcement officers should be the subject of prompt, independent and impartial investigations."

She also warned Israel that "punitive demolitions of Palestinian houses and the withholding of bodies of alleged attackers from their families can only aggravate this situation."

Regarding the use of lethal force to neutralize attacking terrorists, video from last week revealed how a terrorist in Hevron continued repeatedly stabbing an IDF soldier on the ground even while being shot repeatedly, showing how a more muted response could easily allow Israeli victims to be murdered instead of seriously wounded.

As for demolishing terrorist houses or withholding the bodies of terrorists, Israel has at times taken the steps explaining they are meant as a deterrent measure.

AFP contributed to this report.