UN’s Palestinian rights official condemns both sides after surprise terror attack

Luke Tress is a JTA reporter and a former editor and reporter in New York for The Times of Israel.

The UN Human Rights Council official tasked with investigating the Israeli-Palestinian conflict refrains from condemning Palestinian terrorists after they launch a devastating surprise attack on Israeli civilians and soldiers.

UN special rapporteur for the Palestinians Francesca Albanese says, “I unequivocally condemn attacks on civilians. Whoever launches them.”

“Today’s violence must be put into context. Almost six decades of hostile military rule over an entire civilian population… are in themselves an aggression,” Albanese says. Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005.

Albanese has a history of antisemitism and tends to place sole blame for the conflict on Israel, which she views as a “colonial” entity.

The US, Israel and other authorities have demanded her removal due to her bias, but the UN has not taken any action against her.

Martin Griffiths, UN under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs, also hedges in his condemnation of terror.

“I am extremely alarmed by the rapidly escalating events in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory. The number of civilian casualties on both sides is reportedly already in the hundreds,” he says. “Violence is never the answer. I appeal to all sides to stop the fighting immediately and protect civilians everywhere and at all times.”

The UN high commissioner for human rights, Volker Türk, condemns the terror attacks.

“I am shocked and appalled at reports this morning that hundreds, possibly thousands, of indiscriminate rockets have been fired by Palestinian armed groups towards Israel, and that at least 22 Israelis have been killed and hundreds injured,” Türk says.

More recent figures indicate at least 200 Israelis have been killed, over 1,400 wounded, and others taken hostage.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Tor Wennesland, the UN’s special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, both issue condemnations of the terror attacks.

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