Greenblatt: UN report biased against Israel, Hamas responsible for violence

The American envoy to the Middle East rejected the report of the Human Rights Council's commission of inquiry, which accused Israel of war crimes: "When will you tell the truth?"

By YASSER OKBI/MAARIV
March 1, 2019 21:36
3 minute read.
Jason Greenblatt Israel

Jason Greenblatt Meets PM Netanyahu. (photo credit: MATTY STERN, US EMBASSY TEL AVIV)

 
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The US Envoy to the Middle East Jason Greenblatt rejected the UN Human Rights Council's report on the Gaza conflict, calling it a "testament to bias against Israel," on Friday.

Greenblatt also accused Hamas of endangering Palestinian lives by inciting and perpetrating violent demonstrations.

In a related development, 6,000 Palestinians arrived at the shared border fence with Israel for the weekly "March of the Return" demonstration.

The rioters burned tires and threw explosive devices and stones at IDF forces. The Palestinian Health Ministry reported 17 wounded in the clashes.

"This COI [Commission Of Inquiry] report is another manifestation of the UNHRC's clear bias against Israel," the American envoy wrote on his Twitter account. "Which remains the only country that the Council dedicates an entire standing agenda item to targeting. When the HRC [Human Rights Council] speak the truth?"



In another post, Greenblatt wrote, "Hamas behaved with reckless irresponsibility & disregard for human life when it incited VIOLENT (not “civilian”) protests, breaches & attacks at the Gaza fence-line. Hamas is directly responsible for the miserable situation of the people of Gaza."


On Thursday, the UN Human Rights Council published a report accusing the IDF of deliberately targeting civilians, including children, after they claimed to have conducted a study of 325 victims, eyewitnesses and other sources, and collected more than 8,000 documents, Council members convened a press conference in Geneva in which they published the report's highlights.

"The committee has a reasonable basis to believe that during the marches on the border fence with the Gaza Strip, Israeli soldiers committed violations of international human rights law," said Santiago Canton of Argentina, who heads the UN Human Rights Council's investigation committee. "The violations included committing war crimes and crimes against humanity, and should be investigated immediately by Israel. "

The three council members investigated the deaths of 189 Palestinians from the beginning of the round of violent incidents and disturbances on the fence from the end of March until the end of 2018. The report stated that in what appeared to be a "war crime," IDF soldiers deliberately fired at journalists, when possible, as Hamas led demonstrators towards the Gaza Strip border.

The IDF responded to the findings of the report, saying that the "demonstrations" were violent riots organized by the Hamas terror organization in an attempt to sabotage the daily routine of Israeli residents.

The Palestinians also placed IEDs along the fence and sometimes used live ammunition against the Israeli security forces, according to the IDF.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did not remain indifferent to the accusing fingers sent by the United Nations.

"Israel rejects outright the report of the UN Human Rights Council, which sets new records of hypocrisy and lies, out of obsessive hatred of Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East. It is Hamas who fires rockets at Israeli civilians, bombs and carries out terrorist activities during the violent demonstrations on the fence," the prime minister said.

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