Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu blasted the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva
for facilitating an event featuring a Hamas politician, on the same day that
four French Jews were gunned down in Toulouse.
“He represents an
organization that indiscriminately targets children and grown-ups, and women and
men. Innocents are their special favorite target,” Netanyahu told the Likud
faction in the Knesset on Monday. “They kills Jews anywhere –that’s their
constitution – kill Jews wherever you find them – that is what they do,”
He added that this particular parliamentarian had also
condemned the United States for its targeted killing of al-Qaida leader Osama
Bin Laden in 2011.
“I have one thing to say to the UN Human Rights
Council: What do you have to do with human rights? You should be ashamed of
Council spokesman Rolando Gomez confirmed that Hamas
parliamentarian Ismail al- Ashqar from Gaza had spoken at an NGO event in the
building that was organized by the Ma’arij Foundation for Peace and
The event was listed on the UNHRC website along with other
It is one of some 200 such events held in connection with
the council’s 19th session, Gomez said.
Also such NGO meetings “are held
in parallel to the HRC’s main session, they are not official HRC meetings,” he
“The HRC has no responsibility what-so-ever regarding the issues
discussed, the comments made and the participants [who are] invited,” Gomez
He noted that these speakers are not automatically granted access
to the council’s official session. They can only address the council if they are
invited to do so by a UN accredited NGO or state.
“As Mr. Ashqar was not
accredited by an NGO or State, he did not participate in any official meetings
of the Human Rights Council,” Gomez said.
Corinne Momal-Vanian, director
of the UN Service in Geneva, added that access to UN grounds during the council
session was granted based on security considerations, such as possible physical
“As with other requests, UNOG [UN of Geneva] security conducts
the assessment based on available information and takes appropriate measures,”
Aharon Leshno-Yaar, Israel’s ambassador to the UN in Geneva,
said he had been concerned that the Ma’arij Foundation would ask Ashqar to
address the council, which on Monday debated five resolutions on Israel and the
He wrote a letter to UN officials in Geneva expressing his
concern and asked that Ashqar not be allowed to enter the council
“I think it was made clear to him and to those that had invited
him that this was not going to happen,” he said.
According to UN Watch
executive director Hillel Neuer, the Ma’arij Foundation event did not draw that
many participants. UN Watch posted a copy of the speech on its
Ashqar spoke against Israel’s arrest of Hamas parliamentarians
in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, many of whom remain in jail.
know, kidnapping parliamentarians is an anti-democratic and political crime,” he
“I am not representing Hamas, but the Palestinian people.
Innovative illegal procedures for violating human rights are normal for
Israel. What cannot be accepted is the fact that the international
community does nothing about this,” Ashqar said.
Israel’s ambassador to
the UN in New York Ron Prosor issued a statement protesting Ashqar’s
“Inviting a Hamas terrorist to lecture to the world about human
rights is like asking Charles Manson to run the murder investigation unit at the
NYPD,” he said.
“Hamas is an internationally recognized terrorist
organization that fires rockets at civilians, tortures political opponents,
subjugates women and uses children as suicide bombers,” Prosor said.
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