The UNHRC’s inquiry into Gaza Strip violence is an attempt to “undermine the IDF’s legitimate use of force,” explained the army’s top legal authority.
By: Max Gelber, United with Israel
IDF Military Advocate General Brig. Gen. Sharon Afek rejected calls for an international probe into alleged IDF misconduct during the Hamas-led violent clashes on the Gaza border, saying that such a probe would be an attempt to “undermine the IDF’s legitimate use of force.”
Speaking on Monday at the Israel Bar Association’s annual conference, Afek stated that “even during the most complex and difficult battles, the IDF has always marched in line with the law – and will continue to do so.”
He underscored that this was true even when the IDF was “fighting against adversaries devoid of morality and a commitment to that same law,” such as the Hamas terror organization in Gaza.
He directly addressed a resolution by the notoriously anti-Israel United Nations Human Rights Council (UNRC), which earlier this month approved a “war crimes” probe to “provide recommendations to protect civilians against any further assaults” in the Gaza Strip.
The resolution was approved in a 29-2 vote, with 14 abstentions. The US and Australia were the only countries to vote against the resolution.
“The UNHRC’s decision to establish a commission of inquiry into the Gaza Strip events is an example of the exploitation of international proceedings and institutions to undermine the IDF’s legitimate use of force,” Afek stated.
The IDF “does not need external encouragement or pressure in order to examine its conduct,” he added.
“The IDF and its legal system are not immune to criticism, and we do not seek such immunity. We act independently, transparently, and professionally. We are constantly under external legal oversight. Many states can only aspire to such standards,” the legal expert declared.
The IDF is conducting its own probe, and Afek said he will review the findings of the General Staff Fact-Finding Assessment Mechanism. “If there will be a need for further investigation, I will not hesitate to order such,” he added.
Hamas Cynically Exploits its Own Population
Last week, Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon slammed the UNHRC and its decision to probe the IDF, saying that “the fact that this shameful decision was made even after Hamas officials admitted that the vast majority of those killed were terrorists proves, once again, that nothing can separate this Council from its hatred of Israel.”
An analysis by Israeli terrorism experts shows that 93 of the 112 Palestinians killed during the past nine weeks on the Gaza border were terrorists, mostly Hamas operatives.
“The day this Council investigates the war crimes of Hamas is the day it can be called the Human Rights Council,” Danon added.
Israel’s ambassador to the UNHRC, Aviva Raz Shechter, slammed the special session, calling it a “politically motivated” statement that “won’t improve the situation on the ground by even one iota.”
“The unfortunate outcome of [the Gaza] riots can only be attributed to Hamas’ cynical exploitation of its own population, in a violent campaign against Israel,” she said.
The UNHRC is infamously biased against Israel, with nearly half of its resolutions focused solely on Israel, while it ignores war, strife and atrocities committed around the globe. Israeli leaders and officials have cited the UNHRC for its “obsessive hostility” toward Israel and “one-sided mandate.”
Over the past 10 years, the UNHRC has passed 62 resolutions condemning Israel. Meanwhile, the world’s worst human rights abusers in Syria, Iran, and North Korea received far fewer condemnations.
The US has repeatedly threatened to leave the UNHRC.
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