The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) submitted its report on last summer’s Operation Protective Edge, which Israel was drawn into after Hamas kidnapped and killed three Israeli teenagers and then indiscriminately launched thousands of rockets into Israeli towns and villages. The report, predictably, laid much of the blame on Israel. And while it admitted that Hamas was involved in terror, it claimed that Israel was as well.
The UNHRC called Israeli operations in Gaza both “disproportionate” and “indiscriminant,” and concluded that IDF measures to reduce civilian deaths in Gaza were insufficient and should not prevent Israel from facing war crimes charges.
This report is a complete sham. The standards by which the IDF approaches conflicts and approves operations in real time not only uphold but go above and beyond international laws of war. Reports by military experts around the world state that Israel’s self-imposed restrictions and conduct aimed at minimizing civilian deaths – both last summer and in previous conflicts – greatly surpass what is required under international law. Israeli measures aimed at preventing collateral damages and death to the civilian population exceed the records of other Western nations, including NATO forces and the U.S., both of which have conducted military campaigns in the Middle East.
The UNHRC report does not contain a shred of evidence which can be used to indict Israeli generals or politicians who made decisions during the conflict. In essence, it is just another U.N. propaganda piece against the state of Israel.
But what is so disturbing and morally deficient about this report is not that it wrongly accuses Israel of war crimes –we’re used to that from the U.N. Rather, it’s the fact that this report and others like it tell Hamas and other terror organizations that tactics such as human shields do work.
Hamas knows it is no match for the IDF. That is why they store their weapons in hospitals, fire rockets from schoolyards, and hide inside underground bunkers while placing Palestinian women and children in harm’s way. And, as long as the U.N. continues providing cover for Hamas’ crimes against its people, Hamas will continue to use Palestinians as human shields during future conflicts.