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August 14, 2014 7:48 pm

For 90 Minutes, Jewish Leaders Tell UN’s Ban Ki-moon About Hamas Abuses, List 19 War Crimes

avatar by Joshua Levitt

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United Nations HQ in New York. Photo: wiki commons.

For a full 90 minutes on Wednesday, Jewish leaders told United Nations Secretary-General Ban-Ki Moon about the litany of abuses of international rules of warfare – 19 in total – by Hamas in Gaza.

The group included Rabbis Marvin Hier and Abraham Cooper, directors of The Simon Wiesenthal Center, the Anti-Defamation League’s Abraham Foxman, Malcolm Hoenlein of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and representatives from B’nai Brith and Hadassah.

Rabbi Cooper told The Algemeiner on Thursday, “Bottom line, the Jewish world will have to be more proactive on the international stage, not only to defend Israel, but ourselves as well. We will continue to interact with Ban Ki Moon to insure that this important leader will be more responsive.”

In a follow-up note to Ban after their meeting, the SWC rabbis summed up the argument they presented. They said that “we must frankly ask you how many times will the world allow itself to be held hostage by Hamas? This is the third time since 2005 when Israel unilaterally withdrew from Gaza that Hamas has brought death and destruction to the people of Gaza. Once again they are using the people of Gaza, the civilian infrastructure and UN facilities in its non-stop campaign to terrorize the Jewish state.”

During the 90 minute meeting, according to Rabbi Cooper, the SWC urged the UN to announce an official inquiry into the use of various UNRWA schools by Hamas to store and launch rockets for the benefit of the UN’s own reputation. They also called on the UN not to permit the UNRWA to supervise the billions in reconstruction funds expected for Gaza.

“The systematic hijacking of previous aid, cement, and building materials by Hamas to build an underground superhighway of terror is scandalous and a violation of the wishes of the donors who did not contribute funds for rockets or tunnels,” they said. “Those who failed to stop such theft and serial abuse of humanitarian aid, must be held accountable and should not have any involvement in supervising or dispersing of future funds.”

They also said that work shouldn’t begin until “the total disarming of Hamas and the destruction of all of the thousands of rockets and missiles Hamas still harbors.”

The Jewish human rights group that works to protect Jews against anti-Semitism also raised that core issue with Ban. “There has been an explosion of anti-Semitism and genocidal hatred against Israel from Europe to Australia,” they said. “Rather than denouncing this toxic situation Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, contributed to it by being so rabidly one-sided in her criticisms of Israel.”

“During her tenure there was no effort to investigate previous crimes against humanity by Hamas, including its own admission that 160 Palestinian children died building their terrorism tunnels. Her behavior demands a public censure from the Secretary General.”

They asked that “with a human rights disaster of epic proportions in Syria, with ethnic cleansing in Iraq, with a difficult situation in Ukraine and with continuing human rights outrages in North Korea,” the upcoming UN General Assembly “not be allowed to degenerate into an anti-Israel hate fest,” and noted that the UNGA will coincide with the Jewish High Holy Days.

“Anymore demonization of Israel emanating from the halls of the United Nations will only contribute to anti-Semitism globally,” they said.

To hammer home their point about Hamas violating human rights, although Israel is accused of doing so by the UN Human Rights Commission, the SWC rabbis left Ban with a detailed list they compiled of the 19 violations made by Hamas, with full notes and citations for Ban to reflect upon.

In further comments to The Algemeiner, Rabbi Cooper said Ban “refused to get involved with the travesty at UN Human Rights Council.”

Read the SWC’s list of Hamas’s 19 violations of the rules of war:

1) Hamas’ rocket attacks directed at Israel’s civilian population centers deliberately violates the basic principles of distinction (Additional Protocol I, arts. 48, 51(2), 52(1).) Any doubt about this is resolved by the fact that Hamas itself has boasted of its intention to hit population centres. It is well accepted in customary international law that intentionally directing attacks against the civilian population as such or against individual civilians not taking part in hostilities constitutes a war crime. (Rome Statute, art. 8(2)(b)(i))

2) Staging of Attacks From Residential Areas and Protected Sites: The Law of Armed Conflict not only prohibits targeting an enemy’s civilians; it also requires parties to an armed conflict to distinguish their combatant forces from their own civilians, and not to base operations in or near civilian structures, especially protected sites such as schools, medical facilities and places of worship. As the customary law principle is reflected in Article 51(7) of Additional Protocol I: The presence or movements of the civilian population or individual civilians shall not be used to render certain points or areas immune from military operations, in particular attempts to shield military objectives from attacks or shield, favor or impede military operations.

3) Use of Civilian Homes and Public Institutions as Bases of Operation – see (2) for citations.

4) Misuse of Medical Facilities and Ambulances – Any time Hamas uses an ambulance to transport its fighters it is violating the Law of Armed Conflict: Under Article 23(f) of the 1907 Regulations annexed to the Hague Convention IV Respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land, which reflects customary international law, it is especially forbidden … [t]o make improper use of a flag of truce, … as well as the distinctive badges of the Geneva Convention. Article 44 of the First Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field (1949)also provides that: … the emblem of the Red Cross on a white ground … may not be employed, either in time of peace or in time of war, except to indicate or to protect the medical units and establishments…

5) Booby-trapping of Civilian Areas – see (2) for citations.

6) Blending in with Civilians and Use of Human Shields – As the ICRC rule states, lilt can be concluded that the use of human shields requires an intentional co-location of military objectives and civilians or persons hors de combat with the specific intent of trying to prevent the targeting of those military objectives.

7) Exploitation of Children – Hamas has paramilitary summer camps for kids. There are reports, from this war and previous ones, of children fighting and being used for tunnel digging. violates the Law of Armed Conflict, including prohibitions against allowing children to take part in hostilities. As customary international law is reflected in this regard in Additional Protocol I, the parties to a conflict must take “all feasible measures” to ensure that children lido not take a direct part in hostilities and, in particular, they shall refrain from recruiting them into their armed forces. (Additional Protocol I, art. 77(2))

8 ) Interference with Humanitarian Relief Efforts – While Israel kept its end of humanitarian truces. Hamas used them to shoot rockets into Israel, including the Kerem Shalom crossing where humanitarian goods are brought into Gaza. All of these actions violate the Law of Armed Conflict, which requires parties to allow the entry of humanitarian supplies and to guarantee their safety. Article 59 of the Fourth Geneva Convention requires parties in an armed conflict to permit the free passage of [humanitarian] consignments and shall guarantee their protection. Article 60 of the same Convention protects the shipments from being diverted from their intended purpose, something Hamas has certainly done in the past and is reported to have done in this conflict as well.

9) Hostage-taking – The Fourth Geneva Conventions, article 34, says flatly “The taking of hostages is prohibited.” This is not an “arrest” as Israel-haters claim, and this is not a prisoner of war situation as Hamas has made clear – the purpose of Hamas’ hostage-taking falls under the definition on the International Convention Against the Taking of Hostages: “Any person who seizes or detains and threatens to kill, to injure or to continue to detain another person (hereinafter referred to as the “hostage “) in order to compel a third party, namely, a State, an international intergovernmental organization, a natural or juridical person, or a group of persons, to do or abstain from doing any act as an explicit or implicit condition for the release of the hostage commits the offence of taking of hostages (“hostage-taking ‘) within the meaning of this Convention.

10) Using the uniform of the enemy – Additional Protocol I prohibits the use of enemy flags, military emblems, insignia or uniforms “while engaging in attacks or in order to shield, favour, protect or impede military operations”. [3] Under the Statute of the International Criminal Court, “making improper use … of the flag or of the military insignia and uniform of the enemy” constitutes a war crime in international armed conflicts when it results in death or serious personal injury. [4] According to some, this is considered perfidy, a war crime. (h/t Joshua)

11) Violence aimed at spreading terror among the civilian population – Rule 2 of ICRC’s Customary IHL is Acts or threats of violence the primary purpose of which is to spread terror among the civilian population are prohibited. II It quotes Article 51(2) of Additional Protocol I prohibits “acts or threats of violence the primary purpose of which is to spread terror among the civilian population”. Hamas rockets are aimed not only at killing civilians, but also at spreading terror among Israelis.

12)Targeting civilian objects, such as airports or nuclear power plants – Rule 7 of the Customary IHL says “Attacks must not be directed against civilian objects, quoting Articles 48 and 52(2)of Additional Protocol I.

13. Indiscriminate attacks – Besides targeting civilians and civilian objects, Rule 11 of the ICRC CIHL states flatly that “Indiscriminate attacks are prohibited. II By definition, every Qassam rocket attack and most of the other rocket and mortar attacks are by their very nature indiscriminate. See also Rule 71, “The use of weapons which are by nature indiscriminate is prohibited.

14) Proportionality in attack – ICRC’s Rule 14 states “Launching an attack which may be expected to cause incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians, damage to civilian objects, or a combination thereof, which would be excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated, is prohibited. Rocket attacks against civilians have zero military advantage, so by definition they are disproportionate to their military advantage. See also Rule 18: “Each party to the conflict must do everything feasible to assess whether the attack may be expected to cause incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians, damage to civilian objects, or a combination thereof, which would be excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated.

15)Advance Warning – Rule 20 of the ICRC CIHL states “Each party to the conflict must give effective advance warning of attacks which may affect the civilian population, unless circumstances do not permit. Given that Hamas has used the media and SMS calls to threaten Israelis, it is clear that they have the ability to warn before every rocket attack. Their failure to do so is a violation of IHL.

16) Protecting civilians – Rule 22 of the ICRC Customary IHL states, “The parties to the conflict must take all feasible precautions to protect the civilian population and civilian objects under their control against the effects of attacks. Hamas not only has failed to protect civilians in Gaza by building bomb shelters, they have deliberately put civilians in harm’s way.

17) Attacking medical units – Rule 28 states, Medical units exclusively assigned to medical purposes must be respected and protected in all circumstances. Hamas has shot mortars at the Israeli field hospital, set up for Gazans, near the Erez crossing.

18) Protection of Journalists – Hamas has threatened journalists, implicitly and explicitly, accusing some of being spies and sometimes not allowing them to leave Gaza, making them effectively hostages. Rule 34 states “Civilian journalists engaged in professional missions in areas of armed conflict must be respected and protected as long as they are not taking a direct part in hostilities.

19) Mistreating the dead. Rule 113 says, Each party to the conflict must take all possible measures to prevent the dead from being despoiled. Mutilation of dead bodies is prohibited. Hamas has shown off an alleged chip cut out from the (presumably) dead body of Shaul Orono.

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  • Hastaroth

    The Jew haters are so blinded than they can’t see the obvious even if it’s put straight before their eyes.Ban Ki Moon has now a list of war crimes committed by Hamas,together with the jurisdiction that proves them,yet he will deny the obvious and say again “Israel commits war crimes”.
    He should immediately be dismissed from his position by the UN General Assembly.

  • Dear Suzy, this conflict has nudged millions of anty Semites all over the World to openly show ther tru feelings and there were thousands marching and screaming “KILL THE JEWS” with the most hateful placards and vile flags. These marches occurred in most magjor cities of the World,
    including mine ( Sydney Australia ) up until now I thought like you,I have changed my mind.
    Do not be annoyed. Wake up! And read my book The 4th of May, by PAUL GALY OAM.

  • howard brown

    A good thing. A proactive template for now and the future. We are more than a people on the defensive. It will be instructive to see how Moon responds (if at all).

  • Charlotte

    Hamas should not be confused with innocent, victimised Palestinians. Hamas are terrorists.
    They are cold-blooded killers. They have no compunction in using Palestinian civilians as human shields, human targets and human sacrifice to achieve their own nefarious ends. The death-tunnels were not to protect their civilians. They were there to protect their weapons and commit an atrocity, in their words, “5 times as abominable as 9/11.”
    The civilised world better wake up – and wake up fast!

    • JDS

      How can I not confuse Hamas with Palestinians? They are Palestinians. The Palestinian people elected them from their own people. They won overwhelmingly in the election. The Palestinians in Gaza at a rate of 80% think it is ok to bomb and kill Israeli civilians. How could I confuse Hamas with the Palestinians when they are the same people with the same beliefs.


    HILLARY = OBAM 3, and 4


    Video of Rabbi Dr. Bernhard Rosenberg SAYS: President Obama, You Have Some Nerve:.

    Video is on

    Another holocaust is possible. If it happened once it can happen again. Thank G-d we have Israel. We need to do everything possible to keep Israel militarily strong. Jews get out of Europe. There can be no compromise regarding Israel nor can we depend on the good will of others. This unfortunately is a lesson that many Jews have never learned. Never forget, never forgive never again. Rabbi Dr. Bernhard Rosenberg

    • Suzy Sandor

      Please people, especially Jews, don’t bring in the Holocaust into anything especially conflicts that have nothing in common. The Holocaust that killed my grand-parents, occurred in the 1940s, has come and gone. Please live the dead alone to Rest In Peace and deal with the present on its own terms, or try to.

      Very Annoyed,

      • richelle

        How dare you tell me and a destroyed people what we should and should not raise!

        The Holocaust is a historical lesson that we must continually learn about and refer to. Those who do not learn from the past are condemned to repeat it. Is that what you wish for the Jewish people or are you just a fool?

        The Holocaust is not in the past. It’s legacy and effects live on today. My parents who survived, were deeply traumatised by their terrible experiences and they also suffered the permanent loss of family members, friends,community, culture and property. Nevertheless they had to rebuild their lives with those handicaps and they had no special government assistance butbwere told by people around them to shut up about the blood bath; it was all too tiresome and of course it was in the long distant past. Their post Holocaust family, my brother and I, were immediately disadvantaged by them being depleted in every way and by not having a loving and supportive extended family. I suffered depression which only in middle age did I connect was parly due to me mourning – mourning for the relatives who were not there to love me, to care about me, to give me belonging, to fill in on gaps my parents had.

        The murders of the Holocaust continues in its effects on my children who also have very few extended family to which they belong. They live with that depletion today!

        So I repeat, don’t you dare tell me what I should and should not refer to! How do you suggest I should explain my unborn cousins.

        But now to the political. You may have noticed that Israel is today being openly threatened by people calling for its annihilation, blood liables are being put out about it, reports are made of its defensive acts without context, there are economic boycotts of Israeli products. Do you see anything in common here with what occurred in Nazi Germany before it launched into murder on an organised industrial scale?

        If you do not, it is because you have learned nothing from the Holocaust. That does not mean that the rest of us should be so foolish.

      • shloime

        “never again”. mean anything to ya’?

  • corruption to the highest level…

  • Alana

    On a related subject, William Schabas has been named to head a committee to investigate the war in Gaza. Schabas called Netanyahu the person he’s most like to try for war crimes, ( before Ahmadinejad or Assad.) He admits the UN is biased, but says, in effect, tough. That’s life, get used to it.

    If you have an objection to this appointment, email:
    & express your views.

  • Ben Ki Moon is a member of those who stands behind the Nobel Peace Prize, those shadowed Norwegian coward people of Jens Stoltenberg and their allies are the one that tells what Hamas will say or do cowardly hiding behind children abuse, Hamas is under political doctrine control of ” Yes and No” politic, those who hides behind Hamas knows how to attack ” Mans mind” trying to exhaust the Jewish global people minds worldwide under ” Split mind” behavior, witch is been with man and against man in the same time, means Hamas do use the war idea of ” Pull – Push” tactic and as well political game where what ever man go for will be wrong, keeping the conflict going on to tired the Israeli mind, harming the Israel economy. It is why Israel will be in problem what ever choose is, staying in or out of Gaza. The problem of Israel with the Palestinians is not the problem between Israel and the Palestinian, the problem is between Israel and those coward outsiders who did target the Palestinian to use them as a tool the attack Israel, a crime against humanity which Ben Ki Moon is definitely part of it! I have seen B. K. Moon hanging round with young Norwegian women who are unseen solders cowardly hiding in civil cloths. EU and NATO are corrupt! It is why Norway did give a Nobel Prize to EU to cover up on crimes NATO committed in Libya! Ben Ki Moon is not to trust! He is a coward man who is told what to say! Take a carefully concentrated look at his face when he is talking! Everything is there! What is B. K. Moon? The international community which is fake! What B.K. Moon did say concerning Israeli been pushed to protect her people by fighting in Gaza under news video facts ARE and but a fact that the EU and the international community is weaken and need an immediate change! Otherwise no body will take them seriously which is a time of ” Madness”

  • Pingback: ICC turns down BCCI’s appeal to review verdict on Jadeja-Anderson spat | INT. BREAKING NEWS()

  • Jake Thundercloud

    Such actions of appealing to the supporters of Israel’s enemies to act on what is just & right is a waste of time. Not only that, it gives false legitimization of the UN & what they actually represent. Why does the leftist Jew have to constantly demoralize themselves while falsly claiming to represent normal Jews?

    • Alexi

      It makes excellent press. It’s an excellent list of talking points which Pro-Israel people need to have at their disposal to out the false arguments and to shame the U.N. and Hamas supporters.

      Will it effect the U.N.? I doubt it. But I don’t think it’s a waste of time.

  • Steve

    Silence on Ban’s reaction suggests he had already made up his mind….?

    • shloime

      he already voiced the arab position when he accused israel of war crimes, just a couple of days into operation defensive edge. the reality is that he is bought and paid for with arab oil money, and needs the 23 votes of the arab states in the general assembly, 23 times more than Israel’s 1 vote. and now that o’bummer has changed sides, ban doesn’t even have to worry about an american veto in support of israel.

      he listened, but only because that’s the diplomatic thing to do. presentations, or morality, have little to do with how decisions are made at the un.

  • Roz Shorenstein

    Excellent! I hope this helps

  • Tamara van Utens

    The widespread extreme rage directed at Israel and Jews across Europe, Australia,the press and by supposed luminaries such as former American Secretary of State Madeline Albright and other celebrities reminds me of the scene in the 1996 movie Independence Day when the American President asks the alien ” What do you want us to do?” and the alien replies “Die…die.”

  • steven L

    Neither Ban-Ki Moon nor the western world care. But it had to be said. The West in particular.

  • Sunshine

    We all know the U.N. is corrupted. In my opinion, and it is my opinion to which I am entitled, Navi Pilay and Ban Ki Moon have their secret offshore bank accounts loaded with OIC money.

    There is no other explanation possible.


      Navi Pillay is a known Jew hater.
      No matter what, she will always blame Jews and Israel. In her eyes (she should take the blinkers off) Israel is always guilty of protecting itself, therefor, Israel is committing war crimes.
      Time for that horror to be dismissed from her post. SHe has never condemned the HaMAS


  • Dov

    And they think that Moon cares? He is as much anti-Semite as the rest of the bunch.

  • Julian Clovelley

    There is something very wrong here.

    The raising of the question of these violations is valid and important, but exactly who is expected to correct this behaviour? The UN can criticise it – which it does – but short of military action or sanctions there is very little that it can do. It is rather difficult to impose “sanctions” on what Israel considers to be a terrorist organisation. What can you do?

    The only people who can really rectify behaviour that is illegal under international law, breaches Geneva Conventions, breaches UN Resolutions, and is generally unacceptable, are the perpetrators of those actions. In this case Hamas itself. I can’t see what a chat with the UN Secretary General can achieve much – I am sure he is well aware already of everything he is being told. This is a pointless propaganda exercise.

    The only area in which Israel can amend behaviour is in its own actions. But it needs to do this not on the basis of bargaining chips with Hamas, but because those actions are wrong. What could Israel do to put its own house in order? The answers are obvious. First stop denying that the Geneva Conventions are not universally applicable – on which basis end the Occupation of the West Bank Palestinian territories and abandon the Settlements, leaving all of them, available and undamaged, to rehouse Palestinians. The IDF could check them for booby traps. They might even like to follow European practice and redecorate them before they leave. Landlords white is the usual colour choice.

    The involvement of the Wiesenthal Center, under the name of the late Simon Wiesentha,l in what can look like a Zionist propaganda push is not a good look. The Center has been regarded as one with the highest integrity in its actions that deal with the unacceptable extremes of the Nazi epoch. Wiesenthal allowed his name to be used for the centre (I believe he did receive payment for this or any controlling role) but having died nine years ago he certainly cannot be viewed as approving the centers actions in a real time process. I would have thought the present use of his name rather counter productive to his work during his lifetime. That is for the good of no-one, except those that would seek to deny the Holocaust and sanitise Nazism and Fascism

    With the current attempts of extreme Zionists to push the community in the direction of the Conservative Right – especially in the American elections – part of that group whos seem to want to sanitise Fascism are those who seek such a relationship between Jews and the Conservative Right

    As I said at the beginning there is something very wrong here. Alarm bells should be ringing.

  • emile m.harari

    What a waste of time trying to address Ban Ki Moon

    which leads this cesspool that is tn
    he United nations

    You simply cannot change this Body.As the saying says

    ” You cannot make a chandelier out of a night Pot !

  • Pingback: For 90 Minutes, Simon Wiesenthal Center Directors Tell UN’s Ban-Ki Moon About Hamas Abuses, List 19 War Crimes |()

  • Efram

    A valiant and necessary attempt. However, appealing to the United Nazis, or to any part of that organization, will be to no avail. Moon already partly answered by refusing to act on the Jew hating ‘human rights’ part of the UN. If he reacts at all, it will be to reject the evidence.

  • m_

    I hope Ban reads it and reflects on the many crimes of Hamas.

  • Serge V

    very sincere congratulations to Simon W Ctr and to the two rabbis who met Ban _Ki; it could not be done with it away and we can only hope that Ban will have, finally, an open line. However the further comments of Rabbi Cooper ” that Ban
    ‘ refused to get involved with the travesty at UN Human Rights Council ” is obviously not a very good sign.
    An old French proverb is “Il n’est pas necessaire d’esperer pour Entreprendre ” which is more or less equivalent to the ” the only failure is not to try”

  • DocReality

    Waste of time. Tell it to an organization that actually cares and isn’t comprised of al-Qaeda and ISIS supporters.

    • Hope

      It’s true we can’t beg only prepare to handle what comes next,many Jews are rightfully scared European Jews have no tanks or ways to stop the majority of haters.We must stand by Israel and short of European Jews leaving I guess it’s ok for these Rabbis to try on behalf
      Of many Jews world wide.So even though it won’t help better then sitting idle no time to
      Waste.The work is huge and the time short.