U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon .
(photo credit: REUTERS)
NEW YORK – Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu took the bitter criticism he leveled against the UN Human Rights Council in the UN General Assembly on Monday directly into the office of UN Secretary- General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday, saying the forum was badly stacked against Israel and defended Hamas.
Netanyahu, according to a statement issued from his office, complained to Ban that the council was focusing its investigation on Israel, rather than on Hamas, which used UN facilities over the summer to attack Israel.
Jerusalem, Netanyahu said, will fight against this.
The prime minister stressed, as he did in his speech, that Israel did not intentionally target Palestinian civilians, and was sorry for every civilian casualty.
He said that Hamas has taken the local population hostage, and compared the organization to Islamic State. He repeated his position that Hamas carried out a double war crime over the summer: firing on Israeli civilians, while hiding behind Palestinian civilians.
“I will not apologize for Israel having the Iron Dome to protect its citizens,” he said.
Netanyahu complained that Israel was held to different standards from all other countries in the world. While some 200,000 people have been killed in Syria, he said, there is no proportionality between how much time the UN spends on Israel and on Syria.
Netanyahu was accompanied in the meeting by Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman.
Regarding the Palestinian issue, Netanyahu – who did not mention support for a Palestinian state in his address on Monday – said that there was no change in his position regarding acceptance of a demilitarized Palestinian state that will recognize Israel as the Jewish state, as long as security safeguards were in place to enable Israel to defend itself against any threat.
He also stressed to Ban, who condemns every instance of Jewish building beyond the pre-1967 lines, that the conflict with the Palestinians is not over the settlements, but rather over Israel’s right to exist in the region as a Jewish state.