Hamas Hails UN Gaza Report for Condemning Israel

Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhum says Hamas welcomes report; PLO says reinforces 'our will to go to ICC'

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Hamas press conference (file)
Hamas press conference (file)
Mohammed Othman/Flash 90

Hamas saluted "condemnation" of Israel in a UN report released Monday on last summer's conflict in Gaza that accused both sides of potential war crimes but focused primarily on Israel.

"Hamas welcomes the report's condemnation of the Zionist occupier for its war crimes during the last war against Gaza," said Fawzi Barhum, a spokesman for the Islamist terrorist group that rules the Gaza Strip.

In Ramallah, a senior official from the Palestine Liberation Organisation said the report reinforces "our will to go to the International Criminal Court". The Palestinian Authority has been seeking to open criminal proceedings against Israel at the ICC as part of an escalated diplomatic offensive.

Israeli officials, by contrast, have roundly condemned the report as biased, noting it focuses almost entirely on Israel, with only token acknowledgements of Hamas's crimes, including rocket fire against Israeli civilians, using Palestinian civilians as human shields, and terrorist murders committed in Judea, Samaria and elsewhere during that period (the report does however condemn the deaths of Arab rioters and terrorists in Judea and Samaria during that period.)

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu pointed to the inordinate focus by the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on Israel, to the exclusion of countless serial human rights violators throughout the world.

"This committee does everything but worry about human rights," Netanyahu fired. "This committee condemns Israel more than Iran, Syria and North Korea put together."

Israel defends itself, Netanyahu stressed, "in accordance with international law, in the face of the terrorists who shoot at civilians and hide behind civilians."

"Israel defends itself against a terror organization which calls for its destruction and that itself carries out war crimes."

"Israel does not commit war crimes, but Hamas commits war crimes," Netanyahu charged, adding that Israel will not sit idly by, but will "act resolutely against anyone who tries to harm us."

Among other reacting to the report was Education Minister and Jewish Home party head Naftali Bennett, who accused the UN of having "blood on its hands" for what he said was a blatant attempt to tie the hands of the Israeli military and prevent it from defending the country.

"It is a report with blood on its hands that is trying to turn Jewish blood into the cheapest product in the world," he continued. "This a report with blood on its hands because it's trying to restrict soldiers who protected this country's citizens; it's trying to tie our hands."

Bennett noted that the report "skipped over the murder of the three boys as if it did not happen and [implying] there is no intention for it to be investigated." 

"In a UN investigation, answers are not important. What's important are the hypocritical questions dipped in the blood of Jews. The one who decides what to investigate, decides in advance what the results of that investigation are," he said.