The lies that UN representatives told the world during the recent Gaza conflict are an extraordinary example of bias and bad faith. They are one more example of the UN's effort to deny one UN member state - and only one - the Charter right of self-defense. Anne Bayefsky, Editor of EYEontheUN, noted "The false allegations demonized Israel and fueled antisemitism around the world. Even when the UN was confronted with contrary information, its officials denied their original story-line - which was in effect to condemn Israel first and ask questions later."
For those who think that the UN is at worst a harmless talking-shop this should be a wake-up call. The lies - and the subsequent pressure on Israel to stop defending its citizens - temporarily ended the Gaza conflict, but with a Security Council Resolution which made no mention of Hamas. The result will be understood as a license for more terrorism and more efforts to eliminate the Jewish state.
- The UN lie: Israel targets and hits schools
- The UN lie: Hamas does not use human shields
- The UN lie: Israel targets and kills aid workers
The UN partner: Hamas
(1) THE UN: ISRAEL TARGETS AND HITS SCHOOLS
World Health Organization, January 6, 2009, Gaza Crisis Situation Report: Health Situation in Gaza
On 6 January, 42 people were killed following an attack on a UNRWA school
transformed into a refugee site for displaced people. Dozens were injured and evacuated.
Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, January 7, 2009, Daily Situation Report from the Humanitarian Coordinator
The latest toll from the shelling of the UNRWA school in Jabalia is 43 killed
and about 100 injured.
UNESCO Director-General Ko´chiro Matsuura and UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Radhika Coomaraswamy, January 7, 2009, Joint Press Release: UNESCO Director- General and UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict express grave concern over attacks against Gaza UNRWA schools
UNESCO Director-General Ko´chiro Matsuura and UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Radhika Coomaraswamy, expressedgrave concern over the recent attacks against UNRWA schools and associated facilities
. These facilities had been set up by the UN as places of refuge for civilians fleeing the fighting in Gaza. Their statement followsthe shelling by Israeli military of three schools
operated by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). A large number of civilians, including children were killed, particularly in the third strike, and many more were injured. "These attacks are extremely distressing.
I reiterate that schools should, in no way, be involved in military conflict", said Mr. Matsuura. "Schools must remain zones of peace and security in all circumstances," he added. "All parties should agree to a ceasefire for the sake of the children and the civilian population which bear the brunt of the conflict", stated Ms. Coomaraswamy...She also urged the Government of Israel...to investigate intoits military strikes against schools
Pierre Wettach, International Committee of the Red Cross, Head of the ICRC delegation in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories, January 7, 2009, Operational Update
"...The ICRC wasshocked to learn of the Israeli attack on an UNRWA shelter for displaced people in Jabaliya
on Tuesday,which killed and injured a large number of people
. "We too had referred families who were seeking safety to this particular shelter," said Pierre Wettach. "This is a very serious incident which shows that people cannot be sure of finding safety anywhere right now."
Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, 1-8 January 2009, Protection of Civilians Weekly Report, January 8, 2009
"On 5 January,Israeli shelling directly hit two UNRWA schools
where hundreds of displaced people had sought for shelter, killing at least 33 Palestinian civilians."
Jason Koutsoukis, The Sydney Morning Herald, January 8, 2009
Speaking from the UN's Relief and Works Agency in Gaza, Mr. Ging struggled to contain his anger at the attack that has also left more than 50 people with serious injuries, 10 of whom remain critical.When the attack came on the Prep C Girls school
in the Jabaliya camp at 3.45pm on Tuesday, Gaza time,there were about 350 Palestinians inside using the school as a shelter, Mr. Ging said."The reason they were in the school is because the Israelis had told them to go there. They were doing exactly as they had been told," he said. To ensure that there was no confusion about the school's location, the UN had given specific GPS co-ordinates to Israeli commanders..."As you can imagine, this was a very distressing attack. It has killed 40 people, and some of those who were injured may yet die," Mr. Ging said.
(1) FACT CHECK
Patrick Martin, The Globe and Mail, January 29, 2009
"Physical evidence and interviews with several eyewitnesses, including a teacher who was in the schoolyard at the time of the shelling, make it clear: While a few people were injured from shrapnel landing inside the white-and-blue-walled UNRWA compound,no one in the compound was killed. The 43 people who died in the incident were all outside, on the street, where all three mortar shells landed
United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Field Update, 30 January - 2 February 2009, Field Update on Gaza from the Humanitarian Coordinator, released February 2, 2009
"Clarification: While correctly reported on 6 January that Israeli shells landed outside an UNRWA school in Jabalia, resulting in an initial estimate of 30 fatalities, the Situation Report of 7 January referred to 'the shelling of the UNRWA school in Jabalia.' The Humanitarian Coordinator would like to clarify thatthe shelling, and all of the fatalities, took place outside rather than inside the school.
Amos Harel, Haaretz Newspaper, February 3, 2009
The United Nations has reversed its stance on one of the most contentious and bloody incidents of the recent Israel Defense Forces operation in Gaza, saying that an IDF mortar strike that killed 43 people on January 6 did not hit one of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency schools after all. It seems that the UN has been under pressure to put the record straight after doubts arose that the school had actually been targeted.Maxwell Gaylord, the UN humanitarian coordinator in Jerusalem, said Monday that the IDF mortar shells fell in the street near the compound, and not on the compound itself. Gaylord said that the UN "would like to clarify that the shelling and all of the fatalities took place outside and not inside the school."
UNRWA, an agency whose sole purpose is to work with Palestinian refugees, said in response Tuesday that it had maintained from the day of attack that the wounded were outside of the school compound. UNRWA said that the source of the mistake in recent weeks had originated with a separate branch of the United Nations. Senior IDF officials had previously expressed skepticism that the school had been struck, saying that two mortar shells could not kill 43 people and wound dozens more.
Tovah Lazaroff, Yaakov Katz, The Jerusalem Post, February 4, 2009
"When quizzed by The Jerusalem Post with respect tostatements regarding the incidents made by OCHA and UNRWA in the past month attacking Israel for the incident, both organizations denied that they had ever verbally accused Israel of hitting the school."
John Ging, Director of the Operations in Gaza (UNRWA), February 5, 2009, Daily Noon Press Briefing
"There is no change whatsoever to anything that I said at any time about the tragic incident at al-Fakhura school...Our friends and colleagues at OCHA issued a daily report which got it right,
and on the day, and an error was made by those doing the summary, the weekly summary, the weekly OCHA summary at the end of the week to say that rounds landed in the school rather than at the school, but I am quite certain that everybody at that point was focused on the other issues...So there is no change in the reporting that we have done here about that tragic incident.The facts that we presented at the time are still the facts that we are presenting today
...What I had said throughout...I didn't witness the shelling itself but I went up there on the same day to examine the scene for myself and I saw for myself wherethe shells had landed at the perimeter of the school, adjacent to the school, never in the school
, never made any claim of the sort myself, I explained...the people who were injured and killed...at the time of the shelling were actually just outside the school rather than inside the school."
(2) THE UN: HAMAS DOES NOT USE HUMAN SHIELDS
Ms. Karen AbuZayd, Commissioner for the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), UN Press Briefing, December 29, 2008
Fox News: Ms. AbuZayd, have there been incidents of Hamas using human shields...?
AbuZayd: ...I don't know of this human shields being used as you say...What I would say, though, is that they very much leave us alone, let me say, they respect us.
Jason Koutsoukis, The Sydney Morning Herald, January 8, 2009
"We have established beyond any doubt thatthe school was not being used by any militants,
" Ging told the Herald last night.
(2) FACT CHECK
IDF website, January 6, 2009
...Amongst the dead
at the Jabalya schoolwere Hamas terror operatives and a mortar battery cell who were firing on IDF forces in the area. Hamas operatives Imad Abu Askhar and Hassan Abu Askhar were amongst terrorists that were identified as killed.
Yaakov Katz and Jerusalem Post Staff, The Jerusalem Post, January 6, 2009
Two residents of the area near UN school that was shelled by the IDF on Tuesday said that they had seen a small group of terrorists firing mortar rounds from a street close to the school. The two spoke with The Associated Press by telephone on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal.
The army said the school grounds were being used by terrorists to fire mortar shells at troops stationed nearby, and the soldiers responded by firing back.According to the IDF, the dead included members of the Hamas rocket cell, including senior operatives Imad Abu Askhar and Hassan Abu Askhar. Defense officials told The Associated Press that booby-trapped bombs in the school had triggered secondary explosions that killed additional Palestinians there...Two local Palestinians who spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity said they saw four terrorists firing mortar shells from a street adjacent to the school just before the Israelis fired back. Their testimony suggested that the offending terrorists may not have actually been in the school grounds, but close enough to still be using its occupants as human shields."
Tovah Lazaroff, The Jerusalem Post, January 12, 2009
Capt. Ishai David added...thattwo terrorists, who were part of a Kassam squad, were also killed in the incident."
Tovah Lazaroff, Yaakov Katz, The Jerusalem Post, February 4, 2009
In addition, the defense officials said it was not certain that the number of casualties reported by the UN, 43, was accurate and that Military Intelligence had noticedHamas attempts to cover up the identity of those killed in the strike. "We know of at least three terrorists among the dead," one official said.
"It is clear that there were more people killed but Hamas has been covering up their identities."
(3) THE UN: ISRAEL TARGETS AND KILLS AID WORKERS
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, January 8, 2009, Statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General on Gaza
The Secretary-General condemns the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) firing on a United Nations aid convoy in Gaza, the killing of two UNRWA staff in separate incidents and the injuring of a contract worker.
Since the conflict began 13 days ago, four UNRWA local staff have been killed.
"Major UN agency suspends Gaza relief operations after Israeli strike kills driver," UN News Centre Article, January 8, 2009
A United Nations agency that is a lifeline for 750,000 Palestinian refugees in Gaza suspended food delivery operations today afterIsraeli strikes killed one of its drivers and injured a second
after they had received Israeli clearance on the 13th day of an offensive launched with the stated aim of ending Hamas militant rocket attacks into Israel. The body of another UN worker killed in a bombing several days ago was found today and UN officials said the suspension would continue until they received adequate assurances from Israel that such incidents will not be repeated.The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) said the clearly marked convoy
carrying a UN flag and picking up supplies at the Erez crossing into Gazahad been coordinated with
Israeli liaison officers who gave the green light. A second equally coordinated and marked UN medical convoy on its way to fetch the body of an UNRWA staffer killed in an earlier bombardment came under light arms fire in Gaza City.
Amir Mizroch, The Jerusalem Post, January 8, 2009
UN officials in New York placed the blame squarely on Israel, not just for the Erez incident, but also for a separate episode in which a marked UN ambulance convoy sent to retrieve the body of an UNRWA worker killed by an air strike came under small arms fire near Beit Hanun on Thursday afternoon. No one was injured in that incident. John Ging, the director of operations in Gaza for UNRWA, said via video link that "the verbal assurances have run out in terms of credibility." "We cannot rely on firm commitments given from the Israeli side," Ging told reporters. "To haveIsraeli forces on the ground firing at and now hitting convoys that have been specifically cleared
- this is real-time clearance?"
Tovah Lazaroff , The Jerusalem Post, January 12, 2009
Also on Sunday,at a press conference in Jerusalem, UNRWA claimed it was IDF gun fire that killed a Palestinian truck driver working for the aid group near the Erez crossing on Thursday.
(3) FACT CHECK
Amir Mizroch, The Jerusalem Post, January 8, 2009
According to the Magen David Adom medic who claimed to have taken the Palestinians to an Israeli hospital, the truck actually came under Hamas sniper fire.
The medic, who asked not to be named, said he got his information from soldiers in the field...
Amir Mizroch, The Jerusalem Post, January 10, 2009
The IDF was not responsible for the death of a Palestinian aid worker contracted to the UN and the wounding of two others on Thursday, the IDF Spokesman said Saturday."An IDF investigation has found that it was not the army who fired on a UN truck at the Erez crossing," the IDF Spokesman's Office said.
The IDF is not sure who fired on the truck, and is still investigating.
Reuters, January 10, 2009
The Israeli military denied on Saturday that Israeli soldiers had shot at a United Nations aid truck in a convoy headed to a Gaza crossing two days ago....An Israeli statement issued on Saturday said"the Israeli army did not fire upon the truck,"
and that those wounded in the shooting were treated at an Israeli hospital.Christopher Gunness, a spokesman for UNRWA, said the agency had not accused Israel of deliberately targeting its personnel. Gunness said the U.N. had based its account on reports from truck drivers at the scene, who saw an Israeli tank nearby
...An Israeli military source said Israel suspected Hamas was behind that shooting.
THE UN PARTNER: HAMAS
The UN Charter:
"We the peoples of the United Nations determine to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war...and to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small."
The Hamas Charter:
"Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it...The Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him salvation, has said: The Day of Judgement will not come about until Muslims fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Muslims, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him...There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad..."
Karen AbuZayd, UNRWA Commissioner-General; John Holmes, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Press Briefing, December 29, 2008
Reporter: You have now direct contact with Hamas, do I understand that?
AbuZayd: Our local staff do that, yes...They respect us.
John Holmes: We do have technical contacts with Hamas through UNRWA.
[former] UNRWA Commissioner-General Peter Hansen, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, October 4, 2004
"I am sure that there are Hamas members on the UNRWA payroll and I don't see that as a crime...We do not do political vetting and exclude people from one persuasion as against another."
Joel Mowbray, Fox News, January 14, 2009
Former top Islamic Jihad rocket maker Awad Al-Qiq, who was killed in an Israeli air strike last May, was the headmaster and science instructor at an UNRWA school in Rafah, Gaza. Said Siyam, Hamas' interior minister and head of the Executive Force, was a teacher for over two decades in UNRWA schools.
James Lindsay, Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Fixing UNRWA, January 2009, pages 32, 41
"UNRWA has taken very few steps to detect and eliminate terrorists from the ranks of its staff or its beneficiaries, and no steps at all to prevent members of terrorist organizations such as Hamas from joining its staff...[I]n the absence of any UNRWA policy against hiring Hamas members, it would be surprising to find no such individuals among the area staff. As Hansen admitted then, and as is still the case today, the agency makes no effort to discourage supporters or members of Hamas (or any other terrorist group) from joining its staff....[I]t does not subject applicants in the West Bank and Gaza to pre-employment security checks, nor does it check up on staff members to see what they are doing outside office hours...[E]vidence of area staff members who have had "second jobs" with Hamas or other terrorist groups does occasionally come to light...[O]f the nine area staff members who resigned to become candidates in the 2006 legislative elections...some ran as Hamas-affiliated representatives. More recently, an area staff member who apparently was working as a Palestinian Islamic Jihad explosives expert was killed by an Israeli air strike...(May 5, 2008)...[A]t least one UNRWA staff member resigned from the agency and took a significant post in the Hamas government."