Jonathan Dekel-Chen calls for release of hostages and attention on Israeli IDPs at UN Human Rights Council

United Nations Watch
Oral Statement
Human Rights Council, 56th Session
Interactive Dialogue with Special Rapporteur on IDPs
June 21, 2024

Delivered by Prof. Jonathan Dekel-Chen


On October 7th, Hamas terrorists — together with looters from Gaza — assaulted and destroyed my home, Kibbutz Nir Oz.

They murdered and kidnapped more than one quarter of my community. My son Sagui is among those hostages.

The survivors from Nir Oz are among more than 150,000 Israelis still internally displaced due to the war sparked by Hamas’ assault.

Madam Rapporteur, since October 7th you have issued 24 statements criticizing Israel but none about Israeli IDPs.  I implore you to reconsider your position.

Driven from our homes since October 7th by constant bombardments from Hamas and Hezbollah, a total of nearly 200,000 Israeli civilians have evacuated to safer zones; we are refugees in our own country.

This forced dislocation has deeply affected our livelihoods, physical and mental health. None of us know when — or even if — we can return to our homes.

We are also grappling with enormous stress. My son Sagui is still held hostage by Hamas in inhuman conditions.

Sagui is a 35-year old father of three little girls; he has not met his youngest daughter.

He is a man of peace, a builder and creator of community projects for Jews and Muslims in Israel.

Hamas must release Sagui and the other 119 hostages. Only that will bring peace to our region and allow the return of all IDPs, Israelis and Palestinians alike.

I urge you and the United Nations to speak out. Thank you.

UN Watch