- We heard and read with amazement and incredulity your recent statements accusing Israeli forces of violating international humanitarian law, and especially your statement of 12 August 2014 questioning Israel's respect for the principles of distinction and proportionality.
- We know that you have been fully briefed, and are well aware of the circumstances that have given rise to the hostilities between Israel and the Hamas terror organization, including the mass barrage of rockets fired by Hamas at Israel's civilian centers, and the extensive offensive tunnels under Israel's sovereign territory.
- We also know that you are fully aware of the extraordinary lengths to which the Israeli forces have gone in order to ensure that all targets are legitimate military targets, and to fully observe the principles of distinction and proportionality - to the extent of suffering casualties because of this.
- We know that you are fully aware of the repeated warnings given to civilians to distance themselves from those structures used by Hamas for purposes of combat.
- We know that you are fully aware of the fact that Hamas, as a matter of its basic operational procedure, deliberately and willfully uses its civilians and its civilian structures, whether schools, hospitals, mosques or private homes, in order to shield its rocket emplacements, weapons manufacturing facilities, tactical planning and operation centers, and its stocks of rockets and other weapons.
- To lay the blame so blatantly and falsely on Israel, while totally ignoring the continued, willful and indiscriminate aggression by Hamas against Israel's citizens, its utter disregard of humanitarian norms, and Hamas' cynical violation of the basic rights to life of its own civilian population, undermines the guiding principles set out in the UN Charter and discredits the organization.
Amb. Alan Baker served as legal adviser and deputy director-general of Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and as Israel's ambassador to Canada. Nachi Eyal is CEO of the Legal Forum for Israel.
Friday, August 22, 2014
Dear Secretary General: Blaming Israel While Ignoring Hamas Aggression Discredits the UN - Alan Baker and Nachi Eyal (Legal Forum for Israel)
Dear UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon,