Will the UN Step-Up?
By Rob MIller – Joshua Pundit: While the UN won’t discuss the rocket caches and the Hamas laid booby traps in supposedly neutral UN facilities. mosques and civilian homes or Hamas using civilians as human shields, there is one thing the UN and of course, the media, weighed in on quite extensively…civilian casualties in Gaza. The latest instance was the shelling of a UN school in the Jabaliya refugee camp in northern Gaza yesterday…which of course, the UN is blaming on Israel. It was being used as a shelter for civilians whom had evacuated elsewhere. At least 16 people were killed and some 100 wounded.
This occurred during a humanitarian truce which as usual, only Israel observed. The Israelis had said earlier that IDF would stop attacks for four hours starting at 3 p.m., but since Hamas has violated every one of these humanitarian ceasefires in the past, they gave their forces some leeway to protect themselves and Israel’s civilians.
The Israelis said they would only target areas where rockets were being fired at Israel, and that this 4 hour truce would not apply to “the areas in which (army) soldiers are currently operating.” Or in other words, places where their forces were actively engaged in combat with Hamas.They also added that the army would respond to all fire from Hamas throughout the limited ceasefire, and advised, “Residents must not return to areas that have previously been asked to evacuate.” This measure was designed to keep Hamas from creeping back into areas that had already been cleared, a sensible measure in urban fighting.
Hamas rejected the offer of ceasefire and continued to fire rockets at Israel…which of course, the UN is not really overly concerned about.
Given that the UNRWA schools and refugee camps have been used by Hamas as tunnel entrances, arms depots and sniper posts, it was probably inevitable something like this would happen. The IDF is still investigating, but I have a feeling that we’ll find that IDF troops came under fire by Hamas and responded.
Regardless, this was a truly tragic occurrence, and steps need to be taken to make sure this doesn’t happen again.
UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson said there was nowhere for people to flee the conflict. While Israel regularly warns residents by phone calls, text messages, leaflets and dud missiles launched on their roofs to warn them in advance of attacks, Eliasson says that isn’t enough. “Where do they go? There’s very few places to go in Gaza.”
The very Israeli-phobic Senior UN aid official John Ging weighed in as well, to reporters in New York.
“These locations are not safe. Nowhere is safe,” Ging said. “They are being told flee areas, get out of areas, but to where? Where should they go?
“If this were a conflict elsewhere in the world they would at least have the option of crossing borders and seeking sanctuary in neighboring countries. They don’t have that option,” Ging said.
Of course, the same is true of Israeli civilians targeted by Hamas rockets. It’s not like they could flee over the border to Syria or Jordan.I suppose it’s Israel’s fault they build shelters and spend money on Iron Dome to protect their people while Hamas spends its money on missiles, concrete tunnels and bunkers and luxury beach villas for its leaders, and apparently considers photogenic bleeders used as human shields a victory.
Nevertheless, I have to agree that Eliasson and Ging have a point, and I have the perfect solution to avoid future carnage. And no, it’s not just telling Hamas not to fire rockets and mortars at Israel. They won’t, and they have proven it throughout this conflict.
This is where the UN needs to unfurl its proud flag and step up.
I know that the Egyptians and the Israelis would be more than happy to see Gaza’s civilians in a safe location, out of harms way. Here’s a wonderful chance for the UN and UNRWA to actually do something about it and put their money and their bodies where their mouths are.
The Israelis would certainly cooperate with a ceasefire in place for a few hours to allow UNRWA to remove Gaza’s civilians from harm’s way. Yes, the IDF would want to vet them of course to make sure the likes of Ismail Haniyah wasn’t sneaking out of Gaza dressed as a woman in a burka, but there’s no reason a wholesale evacuation couldn’t take place.
The Egyptians would likely allow UNRWA to set up temporary facilities in Sinai, and there are also UNRWA camps in Area A in the Arab occupied part of Judea and Samaria the Israelis would certainly allow transit to.
It’s a real win win for everyone.No more carefully staged pictures of dead children, and no more need for the IDF to waste all that energy on warning civilians, because they’d be out of the picture. They can concentrate on destroying Hamas. The civilians would certainly be better off than they are now, and those brave Hamas fighters could shed the baggage of all those human shields and show the whole world how easily they can defeat those cowardly Jews. What a chance for martyrdom!
Today, the odious UN Secretary General Ban ki-Moon said “Nothing is more shameful than attacking sleeping children.” Of course, he didn’t trouble to say that when Hamas was firing rockets and mortars at Israeli children, but I agree with the sentiment just the same.
Here’s your chance Ban ki-Moon! Go to Gaza in person and tell Hamas “Let these people go!”
And then send Hamas’s UNRWA friends in to get them and escort them out of harm’s way.
I’m sure they’ll listen to you, and do exactly what you say. Of course they will.