Erdan pressed UN to classify Horgan as terror victim

Erdan wrote a letter of complaint. In the OCHA’s next report, it spoke this way of the attack.

Esther Hurgan, the woman killed in a suspected terror attack in the northern West Bank on Dec. 21, 2020 (photo credit: COURTESY OF THE FAMILY)
Esther Hurgan, the woman killed in a suspected terror attack in the northern West Bank on Dec. 21, 2020
(photo credit: COURTESY OF THE FAMILY)
The United Nations reported that terrorist victim Esther Horgan was killed for nationalistic reasons, only after Israeli Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan complained about the language in which her attack was described.
Erdan also complained about the link the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) made between her death and settler violence.
“The blood of Jewish victims will not go unanswered, and we will not allow any UN body to ignore the truth, distort reality and fight against the State of Israel for political purposes,” Erdan said.
On December 24, OCHA wrote the following in its regular report on events in east Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza.
“On 20 December, an Israeli woman was found dead in a forest near the Tal Menashe settlement (Jenin), where she lived; the Israeli authorities suspect she had been attacked by a Palestinian.”
Then it noted in the next line that “a series of stone throwing and physical assault incidents by Israeli settlers against Palestinians (mostly outside the reporting period) have been associated by the Israeli media with this case.”
Erdan wrote a letter of complaint. In OCHA’s next report, it spoke this way of the attack:
“On 24 December Israeli forces arrested in Tura village (Jenin) a Palestinian man suspected of the killing of an Israeli woman, whose body was found on 20 December, near the Tal Menashe settlement.
“According to the Israeli authorities, the man confessed that he had killed the woman for nationalistic motives. Four other Palestinian men were also arrested in connection with this incident,” OCHA stated.
No mention was made of settler violence in connection to Horgan’s death.
Mark Lowcock, undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator, responded to Erdan by condemning the terrorist attack.
“There is no justification for the killing of an innocent civilian, no matter the context, and I offer my profound condolences to Mrs. Horgan’s family,” he said.
Lowcock explained that Horgan’s death occurred at the end of its reporting period when scant information was available.
“At the time of publication, there was no confirmation from official sources on the circumstances of Ms. Horgan’s death on 20 December, nor the perpetrator.
“Following standard practice, OCHA reported the information available at the time and will add further details, disclosed by the authorities after the original publication, in the upcoming report,” he wrote.
“Excellency, please allow me to assure you that OCHA applies a robust methodology to document and report all conflict-related casualties, regardless of the nationality of the victim or the perpetrator. We look forward to enhancing our constructive dialogue between the government of Israel and OCHA,” Lowcock wrote.
Erdan said that the UN’s response was an “important achievement in our struggle against the anti-Israel bias at the UN.”
He added, “I will continue to fight until all moral distortions in the UN are corrected. Justice has been done, first and foremost for the memory of Esther and for her family, and also for the important message that this sends.”
A UN official told The Jerusalem Post, “The report of December 24 utilized information that had been made available and confirmed by the time of writing; and the link to subsequent violence therein was made by, and attributed to, the Israeli media. The report of January 8 on consequent developments was based on information received from local authorities in Jerusalem and additional media reports. It is our standard practice to update readers on developments and on new information that comes in.”
OCHA’s reports are often the basis of the more extensive reviews of Israeli and Palestinian activity delivered to the UN Security Council on a monthly basis by the UN special coordinator for the Middle East peace process.
Nickolay Mladenov, who held that post for the last five years and left his position at the end of December, routinely condemned Palestinian terrorist attacks against Israelis.