Hamas's Reflection on the Report of the UN Human Rights Commission of Inquiry on the Israeli 2014 Aggression on Gaza
The Islamic Resistance Movement of Hamas welcomes the Commission's condemnation of the crimes Israel has committed against the Palestinian people. Yet, Hamas has notes on the UN report:
- Since the very beginning, Hamas welcomed the formation of the Commission, and agreed to cooperate and provide everything necessary to continue its work.
- The nature of the Commission's formation and the resignation of its President William Schabas under Israeli pressures, clearly affected both the structure and the findings of the report.
- The fact that Israel obstructed the Commission to arrive in Gaza in order to view and inspect the crimes scenes -Hamas has frequently demanded the commission to come to Gaza- led to inaccurate findings. Moreover, to have the Commission conducted the investigation out of Gaza confirms it did not get to the truth.
- The Israeli obstruction of the Commission to arrive to Gaza strip and rejecting cooperation with the Commission prove that Israel has committed war crimes and is worried about being exposed by the fact-finding commission.
- Although the Israeli occupation refused to cooperate with the Commission and gave it no piece of information, the context of the report justifies the Israeli crimes. It also endorses the Israeli fabrication of some events published by media, which contradicts the right rules of any fair investigation, whereas fair-minded reports are not built on media claims only.
- The report's context is clearly biased in favor of the Israeli occupation. Most paragraphs relevant to the Israeli occupation include skeptical terms and lack of emphasis in spite of clear evidence of the crimes Israel has committed; yet, in paragraphs relevant to the Palestinian resistance, the context includes confirmed phrases and exaggerating terms despite factual evidence that they are untrue.
- The report deems killing of 6 Israeli civilians as a “tragic” result, but when it comes to the Palestinian side, it mentions that 2251 Palestinians have been killed without any description that such crime is a tragic act, which is another proof that the report is biased.
- The Commission has its mission confused as it is a fact-finding commission but it intervenes in the Palestinian political matters (e.g. paragraph 17 of the executive summary), which is beyond the tasks it has been entrusted to fulfill.
- The Commission does not adhere to the international standards of distinction between civilian and military objects, and it does not present the specifications according to which the object can be identified as military. The commission believes the objects targeted by IOF were originally military, and when the Israeli attacks claim civilian casualties the report demands Israel to provide clues that indicate the target was military. Clearly, this is an illegal, vindicating and an unjust approach the commission had adopted, which proves once again that its report is biased to the Israeli occupation.
- The report ignores the explicit confessions on war crimes the Israeli soldiers and officers made during and after the aggression, in which they stated they had received direct instructions to target civilians. Many soldiers affiliated to the Israeli organization of "Breaking the Silence" confirmed such Israeli orders. Moreover, the Israeli Minister of Justice Ayelet Shaked incited the Palestinian women and children to be slaughtered. Therefore, does the Commission adopt the pro-Israel media claims, while it ignores them if they support the assertions of the Palestinian resistance and condemn Israel?
- The report states that thousands of Israeli civilians suffered panic because of the Palestinian tunnels and projectiles. On the other hand, it fails to mention 1.8 million Palestinians in Gaza Strip who were under Israeli fire and suffered horror because of the continuous Israeli crimes and bombing during 51 days.
- The report states that IOF warned residents of the houses to be bombed using warning missiles, considering this as a sufficient and appropriate warning and not in violation of the international law and the laws of war. How come a missile becomes a tool of warning? Isn’t it a sort of disregard and disrespect for human life and human rights?
- The report pays no attention to the Israeli bombing of sites protected under the international law, including hospitals, schools, shelters, media institutions, crews of the civil defense and journalists. IOF targeted dozens of such facilities and institutions in a gross violation of the international laws and conventions.
- The report attempts to clear the Israeli occupation of the direct bombing of protected sites, such as hospitals and shelters. The report volunteers to claim that IOF targeted the surroundings of these facilities, despite the fact that the occupation refused to cooperate with the investigations, and despite the numerous documented such incidents, such as the targeting of Alwafa'a Rehab Hospital, Al-Aqsa hospital and Beit Hanoun UNRWA school which was used as a shelter by hundreds of evacuees under coordination between UNRWA and IOF.
- The report mentions the term (cycle of violence) repeatedly to refer to the Israeli aggression on Gaza, which diverts the aggression out of its legal, historical and political context as it is an aggression launched by occupying forces against an occupied people.
- Hamas has handed over the government to the national consensus government on June 2, 2014 a month before the Israeli aggression on Gaza on July 7, 2014. Therefore, Hamas rejects the report's characterization of the Movement as a de facto authority in Gaza.
- In spite of the difficult operational and security conditions, the Palestinian resistance factions, Hamas on top of them, exerted every effort to spare civilians the repercussions of the Israeli aggression and destruction. On the contrary, the Israeli occupation deliberately targeted civilians and destroyed infrastructure although IOF uses high- tech weapons and advanced guided missiles, which aggravated causalities among civilians.
- The report ignores the fact that the Israeli occupation is the party that initiated the aggression on Gaza, forcing the Palestinian resistance to defend the Palestinian people and resist the aggression in consistence with international law.
- While is criticizes what it calls “indiscriminate rockets” of the Palestinian resistance, the report does not comment on the weapons IOF used during the aggression on Gaza, although several international human rights and medical reports confirm that IOF used internationally prohibited weapons in the aggression as the bodies of the victims show.
- The report does not pay enough attention to the crimes and violations the IOF committs in the West Bank and the occupied city of Jerusalem.
- The report mentions nothing on the crime of Israeli colonial settlement activities in West Bank and occupied Jerusalem or the issue of the Palestinian detainees, all of which amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity.
The report of the UN Human Rights Commission of Inquiry does not reflect the massive destruction caused by the Israeli aggression on Gaza Strip, and it is drafted in a biased approach that favors the Israeli occupation. It equates the Israeli executioner with the Palestinian victim, and justifies the war crimes Israel committed in Gaza.
Therefore, Hamas demands the UN Human Rights Council to:
- Clearly Condemn the Israeli occupation for it blocked the Commission from arriving to Gaza or reaching the scenes of the Israeli crimes to conduct a professional and fair investigation.
- Re-draft the report to include the war crimes Israel has committed, and charge the IOF of war crimes and crimes against humanity as well as crimes of genocide and aggression against a defenseless people. These crimes are enough ground to bring the Israeli criminal leaders to the ICC.
- Re-draft the report to include the right characterization of the Palestinian resistance as a legitimate resistance against the Israeli occupation in accordance with the international laws and conventions. The report must highlight the right of the resistance to defend the Palestinian people against the Israeli aggression on Gaza.
Finally, these notes remain preliminary until Hamas receives the final official Arabic version of the full report as well as the conclusions of the UNHRC.
The Islamic Resistance Movement- Hamas
June 29, 2015