Geneva, November 8, 2006 – Following is a statement released in Geneva today by UN Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer:
The statement today by John Dugard, UN Special Rapporteur on the Palestinian territories, is one-sided and further undermines the credibility of the Human Rights Council as well as the effectiveness of the UN as a whole to mediate peace between all sides of the conflict.
Mr. Dugard refers to June 2006 yet shockingly omits any mention of that month’s Hamas raid into Israel and kidnapping of Corporal Gilad Shalit that provoked the crisis. Moreover, his statement further omits mention of the thousands of Kassam rockets that—on a daily basis over the past year—have been indiscriminately fired by Hamas and other terrorist groups from Gaza into Israeli towns and villages, wreaking death, injury and havoc upon innocent civilians.
Nor does he say a word about the alarming increase of illegal smuggling into Gaza of sophisticated missiles and other weaponry. Following Hezbollah’s example, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other militant groups are seeking to build an advanced arsenal to continue attacking Israeli civilians from the very territory transferred into their hands by Israel last year.
Finally, Mr. Dugard’s claim that Israeli actions in Gaza have gone “unnoticed” by the UN is bizarre. In fact, the UN Human Rights Council has, since its June inauguration, devoted every single one of its resolutions to condemnation of Israel—including two resolutions, a Special Session and a “fact-finding mission” all expressly addressing the issue of Gaza, and all focusing on Israeli actions alone while ignoring those of Hamas.
Mr. Dugard ought to be encouraging the Palestinian authorities in Gaza to use the freedom acquired last year to build hospitals and schools, instead of missiles and arms-smuggling tunnels, and to teach Gaza’s children mutual respect and tolerance instead of hatred and the veneration of Jihad and suicide bombing.
Regrettably, Mr. Dugard’s actions are inconsistent with his obligations as a UN expert to be impartial and objective.