Israeli envoy demands UN probe Hamas war crimes

Ron Prosor submits lists of rockets fired from Gaza, along with their intended civilian targets and where they were launched from

Tamar Pileggi is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Israel's UN envoy Ron Prosor addresses the UN Security Council in New York, on April 29, 2014 (screen capture: YouTube)
Israel's UN envoy Ron Prosor addresses the UN Security Council in New York, on April 29, 2014 (screen capture: YouTube)

Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations submitted a request to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the Security Council Wednesday to investigate war crimes carried out by Hamas during Operation Protective Edge.

Ambassador Ron Prosor said in a message accompanying the petition that the UN recognizes the action of Hamas as war crimes, but nothing has been done about it.

The documents submitted contain detailed lists of rockets fired at Israel, intending to show Hamas’s intentional targeting of Israeli civilians, according to a report in Israeli news site NRG.

The lists itemize where the rockets were shot from, their type and what Israel says their intended target was.

Prosor’s request also details each time Hamas fighters fired rockets into Israel from civilian areas inside the Gaza Strip.

Prosor said he expected the Security Council to strongly condemn Hamas’s tactics, and speak up regarding the terror group’s use of human shields during the fighting.

The Security Council refrained from adopting any resolutions on the Gaza fighting during the 50-day-long military campaign, but the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council said it was launching an investigation to probe possible instances of war crimes.

The UNHCR’s Gaza commission is mandated “to investigate all violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.”

Israel has dismissed the panel as one-sided and it is not clear if Jerusalem will cooperate.

The commission is headed up by Canadian law Prof. William Schabas, who is generally regarded in Israel to be hostile toward the Jewish state and has called in the past for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and former president Shimon Peres to stand trial for war crimes.

Schabas told Israel’s Channel 2 news that he would not let his past criticism of Israeli leaders affect his ability to carry out the investigation.

Netanyahu has strongly criticized the UN Security Council’s resolution for choosing to investigate Israel rather than the nearby war-torn areas of Iraq or Syria.

“The committee chairman has already decided that Hamas is not a terrorist organization. Therefore, they have nothing to look for here. They should visit Damascus, Baghdad and Tripoli. They should go see ISIS, the Syrian army and Hamas. There they will find war crimes, not here,” the prime minister said in a recent statement.

In a campaign sponsored by the Im Tirtzu organization, hundreds of Sderot residents signed a petition complaining about Hamas to the UN Human Rights Council earlier this month. The campaign collected an additional 13,000 signatures for a petition calling on Ban to prosecute the leaders of Hamas for war crimes.

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