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Netanyahu: UN rights body legitimizes 'terror groups'
Published Wednesday 13/08/2014 (updated) 14/08/2014 18:53
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JERUSALEM (AFP) -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lashed out Wednesday at the UN Human Rights Council, accusing it of granting "legitimacy to terror organizations" by investigating Israel for alleged war crimes in Gaza.

"UNHRC gives legitimacy to murderous terror organizations like Hamas and Daash (Islamic State)," he said, accusing the rights body of overlooking "massacres" committed elsewhere in the Middle East in favor of investigating Israel for defending itself against rocket attacks from Gaza.

In response to Netanyahu's comments, a spokesman for the 47-member rights council said the inquiry it launched last month will probe both sides in the Gaza conflict, which killed more than 1,950 Palestinians -- the vast majority of whom were civilians -- as well as 67 in Israel, 95 percent of whom were soldiers.

"The resolution establishing the Commission of Inquiry clearly states the commission will investigate all violations of international human rights and humanitarian law since the current military operations began in mid-June," Rolando Gomez told AFP.

"This directly implies that both parties will be subjected to a thorough investigation."

Netanyahu spoke just days after the rights council named Canadian international law expert William Schabas to run the inquiry, in a move which sparked fury in Israel, with officials denouncing him as biased.

"Instead of investigating Hamas attacks on Israeli citizens and its use of Gazans as human shields, instead of probing the massacre (President Bashar al-)Assad is perpetrating against the people in Syria or that Daash is carrying out among the Kurds, the UN decided to come and investigate Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East ... that is acting legitimately to defend its citizens against murderous terror," he said.

"First let them carry out an investigation in Damascus, in Baghdad, in Tripoli, let them go and see Daash and the Syrian army and Hamas. It is there, not here, that they will find war crimes," Netanyahu said.

The right council's commission is due to publish its findings in March 2015.

The Israeli leader accused Schabas of having "already decided" that Hamas was not guilty of anything and that there was "nothing to investigate there."

In a series of interview with the Israeli media, Schabas on Tuesday defended himself against allegations of bias.

Asked by Channel 2 television if he would describe Hamas as a "terror organization," Schabas said it would be "inappropriate" to answer such a question, and urged Israel to participate in the inquiry.

"It is important for Israel to cooperate because the allegations have a great deal to do with the use of force, the targeting, and the proportionality of that targeting, the identification of military objectives," he said, noting that Israel had described its use of force as "proportionate."

Israel has long had stormy relations with the UNHRC, which it accuses of having a built-in bias against Israel.

In January 2012, it became the first country to refuse to attend a periodic review of its human rights record. And two months later, it cut all ties with the council over its plans to probe how Jewish settlements were harming Palestinian rights.

In a separate development, Israel's state comptroller on Wednesday ordered an inquiry into the Gaza offensive, a spokesman said.

Media reports said the investigation would consider the operation in view of both Israeli and international law.

Ma'an staff contributed to this report.
1 ) Peace / Now
13/08/2014 22:27
Will the UNHRC look at the Likud Charter? Maybe the committee can tell us if it is in contravention of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights.

2 ) Terry / Sweden
13/08/2014 23:53
NuttyYahoo's lies are at the level of a child. So it's ok for Israel to kill children and women deliberately and targeting schools, hospitals, ambulances, power plants, factories andsmosques because there are more deaths occurring in Syria and Iraq? What flawed way of reasoning. He is not even a convincing liar. Weren't it for the power these intellectual minions exercise on the US media and government, Israeli leaders would already stand before a war crimes tribunal.

3 ) Rami / Palestine
14/08/2014 14:00
The United Nations certainly legitimized a terror group when it granted Israel a state in 1948. If only they had a crystal ball which allowed them to see the future monstrosity that would be created from their decision, perhaps it would never have happened and tens of thousands of Arab lives would have been saved.

4 ) justice / South africa
14/08/2014 15:52
If nutty yahoo has nothing to hide then why is it throwing a tantrum

5 ) Sheraz / United Kingdom
14/08/2014 16:07
It's clear to woke wide world that they have commited serious crimes against humanity. There is no denying it there is no excuse and there is no place for them to hide they will and should for sure be punished for devidivding a harmonious community planting seeds of hatered Omongst otherwise friendly people

6 ) Mohammad khaliq / Uk England
14/08/2014 16:14
Can the UN quiz Israel over the previous times that they Attacked and killed Innocent cavillians also. What about the daily Abductions of Palestinians when will UN ask Israel about this on going War Crime?

7 ) Mel / USA
14/08/2014 18:41
#1:"Likud Charter"? Absolutely! Zionist extremists RATIFY THAT EVERY DAMN ISRAELI ELECTION,since authoring!Zionism/Israel came with a"Plan(Dalet)"to exterminate any non-Jew from the Med.Sea to River Jordan,steal all,take no prisoners &drive any UNWILLING participants-in Zionism's Holocaust-OUT of pluralistic Palestine-Muslims/Christians alike-just 4 being indigenous"Arab"!Bibi's HATED globally(like most Israeli's)4 being the butt-face of Judeo-Nazi terrorists-by WAR-CRIMINAL DESIGN OR NEGLECT!

8 ) Mel / USA
14/08/2014 18:54
Cont:so screw you Nutty Adolf!We know the real terrorists are. JUDEO-NAZIS/Fascists. No frills or bonnets! Just swastika's under a Blue Star!
And if 'Hamas'is such a "terrorist"group,Israel shouldn't have nurtured it as a PROXY in 1980's?Just to be like PA,for Oslo 'discords'.Up yours Bibi &all your savage,luny Zionists.You're an insult to global Judaism&the Holocaust!

9 ) mexica / mexico
16/08/2014 06:06
netanyahu is a racist terrorist himself.

10 ) Richard / UK
16/08/2014 22:07
No matter how long it will take rest assured Mr Nethanyahau that you and your cronies would be brought in front of a court of justice to answer for your deeds!!! despite all the lies and deception the Palestinian people will be free!!!
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