'Hamas has no immunity in the international community'

Israeli achievement: UN refuses to grant special status to a Hamas-affiliated terrorist organization.

Nitsan Keidar ,

Danny Danon
Danny Danon
Israel's UN mission

The United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) on Thursday called for the granting of a special UN status to a number of civil society organizations from around the world so that they can advise the organization in various fields and take part in its activities. Among those that applied for this status was a Palestinian organization registered in Lebanon under the name "Witness", which ostensibly deals with the rights of “Palestinian refugees” in Lebanon.

In recent months, Israel's security establishment has revealed that Witness belongs to Hamas and acts on its behalf against Israel as part of a network of institutions and organizations the terrorist organization operates outside the Gaza Strip.

Witness' chairman, Mahmoud al-Hanafi, met frequently with the leadership of Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Lebanon to promote legal proceedings for Palestinian prisoners jailed in Israel. Although Witness engages in humanitarian aid and human rights in Lebanon, it actively promotes political terrorism against Israel, thus misleading the international community.

Last March, Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Binyamin Netanyahu signed an order declaring "Witness" a terrorist organization in Israel. In recent months, Israel's ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon, has led diplomatic efforts with his counterparts in order to prevent the granting of special status to this terrorist organization. At the same time, diplomatic outreach was made with many foreign ministries in order to thwart support in the world's capitals for Witness.

The joint political activity bore fruit, and in the vote held on Thursday in ECOSOC, 28 out of 47 countries in the Council objected to granting the terrorist organization the special status.

Among the countries that voted in favor: Brazil, Canada, Colombia, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Japan, Korea, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and the United States. The countries that voted against include: Egypt, Iran, Morocco, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, and Yemen.

Ambassador Danon said that "Hamas has learned that it has no immunity in Gaza, and now not in the international community. The UN should declare Hamas a terrorist organization and not recognize its affiliates in any international forum. We demand that the United Nations act uncompromisingly against terrorist organizations that are attempting to engage in political terror against the State of Israel."