A school run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) hid a map depicting what it referred to as “historic Palestine” – in other words, Israel – on the occasion of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s visit to the Gaza Strip on Tuesday. UNRWA has ties with Hamas, and last October, several members of its staff were fired for posting Facebook statuses inciting violence against Israelis. During three separate instances, Hamas rockets were found in UNRWA schools during Operation Protective Edge in the summer of 2014. During his visit to Gaza, Ban said that Israel’s blockade – which is designed to prevent Hamas from acquiring weapons to fire at Israeli civilians – “suffocates its people, stifles its economy and impedes reconstruction efforts. It’s a collective punishment for which there must be accountability.” When Ban met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel earlier Tuesday, Netanyahu asked him to help to effectuate the return of the bodies of two Israelis soldiers killed during Operation Protective Edge, Lt. Hadar Goldin and Sgt. Oron Shaul, as well as the release of two Israeli civilians from Gaza, Avraham Abera Mengistu and another unidentified civilian.
The United Nations has been accused of systemic bias against the Jewish state. In April, UNESCO passed a resolution on Jerusalem that referred to the Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism, only as Al-Aqsa Mosque/Al-Haram Al-Sharif, and when it referred to the Western Wall Plaza, it only did so in quotation marks. Michael Oren, the former Israeli Ambassador to the United States, and Omer Barlev, a Member of Knesset from the opposition Zionist Union Party, wrote Tuesday imploring Ban, whose term is up at the end of this year, “We appeal to you to call [on] the incoming Secretary General to engage with the Israeli people, set a timetable to eliminate the bias and discrimination that has poisoned the relationship and restore faith in this most valuable of international bodies.” Oren and Barlev pointed out the fact that of the 128 country condemnations put forward by the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), more than half – 67 – have targeted Israel, indicative of a fixation on the Jewish state. Ron Prosor, formerly Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations, wrote in The Huffington Post Monday, “The United Nations, once a beacon of hope in the dark days following the conflagration of World War II and the Holocaust, has been overrun by repressive regimes that violate human rights and consistently undermine international security. It is clear that the inmates have taken over the asylum and the warden has been glad to give them the keys.” Prosor also noted that, while all other countries’ human rights abuses are covered by the UNHRC’s Agenda Item 4, Israel is the only country singled out for criticism, with its own Agenda Item (number 7).
A senior adviser to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said Monday that any Palestinian interactions with Israelis should end with violence, rather than dialogue.“If you ask me my blunt position, I would say — every place you find an Israeli, slit his throat,” Sultan Abu al-Einein, a member of the central committee of the ruling Fatah party, told the Palestinian website Donia al-Watan, when asked about Palestinian officials participating in Israeli conferences. “Likewise, I am against talks, negotiations, meetings, and normalization in all its forms with the Israeli occupation.”Abu al-Einein advises Abbas on civil society organizations.
His remarks were slammed by Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai, Israel’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories.
“Such words, in the summer of 2016, in a region that wakes up and falls asleep to the news of terrorist actions similar [to the words said by Abu al-Einein], cannot be allowed to stay within the bounds of rhetoric,” Mordechai wrote on Facebook, warning that they would have “repercussions” in the future.
Abu al-Einein has praised Palestinian terrorists in the past. After Palestinian Islamic Jihad member Muhannad Al-Okabi murdered two rabbis and wounded a mother and her child in Jerusalem in October, Abu al-Einein wrote on Facebook, “We loved you, Muhannad. We loved you, while you sowed life for all Palestinians.”
In November 2014, after two Palestinian men murdered four rabbis and a Druze Israeli police officer, Abu al-Einein posted pictures of the rabbis’ bloodied bodies to Facebook and praised “the heroic operation at the religious Zionist institute.”
Abu al-Einein has also supported the execution of Palestinians who sell land to Jews, a capital offense under the Palestinian penal code, saying in October 2014 that they “must be killed in the streets and hanged on an electric pole.” In the same interview, he praised a Palestinian Islamic Jihad member who tried to murder Temple Mount activist Rabbi Yehudah Glick.
Five members of Congress asked Abbas to dismiss Abu al-Einein in 2013 after he praised a Palestinian who killed an Israeli father of five. “Allowing this type of incitement and hatemongering to take place within your ranks is intolerable if you are truly dedicated to non-violence,” they wrote. “We ask that you publicly and officially denounce and condemn Mr. Al-Einein’s remarks at once and remove him from his position in your government.” The Palestinian president rejected their request, saying that Abu al-Einein was an elected official.
Fatah officials frequently praise Palestinian terrorists, a tendency that Israel has criticized as glorifying and inciting violence against civilians.
In March, Fatah’s official Facebook page posted an image praising a Palestinian who killed U.S. Army veteran and graduate student Taylor Force in Israel.
Fatah and the PA also joined Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad in honoring an Arab-Israeli gunman who killed three people in Tel Aviv on New Year’s Day, writing on its Facebook page, “Congratulations and may Allah receive you in Heaven.”