TEL AVIV – Israel’s UN envoy Danny Danon slammed the global body’s Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for proposing ways to “protect” Palestinians in Gaza from Israel, saying that the only protection they need is from their terrorist leaders.
In a 14-page report, Guterres suggested, among other things, deploying an armed UN military or police force for the “physical protection” of Palestinians.
“The only protection the Palestinian people need is from their own leadership,” Danon said in a statement. “The [Palestinian Authority] incites its people to demonize and attack Jews, and Hamas, a terrorist organization, uses the people in Gaza as hostages and endangers the lives of civilians for terror’s sake.”
“Instead of delusional suggestions on how to protect the Palestinian people from Israel, the UN should hold the Palestinian leadership accountable for the harm caused to its own people,” he added.
Danon also said Guterres’ report “would only bring about continued Palestinian suffering at the hands of their leaders.”
Guterres’ proposal also included deploying so-called human rights monitors and creating a “UN presence on the ground” to assess the situation and report it to the international body. The UN would also funnel more funds to “ensure the well-being of the population” as well as set up unarmed observer missions around flashpoint areas including checkpoints and around Israeli settlements. Those civilian observers would also be instructed to report on protection issues to the UN.
Guterres also said in the document that the UN’s most recent “measures fall short” of the challenges raised in an anti-Israel General Assembly resolution that was passed in June. The resolution condemned Israel for the deaths in Gaza with no mention of Hamas terror and demanded the UN craft “an international protection mechanism” for the Palestinians.
The ongoing border riots have seen some 170 Palestinians killed, with Hamas acknowledging that the large majority are either members of Hamas or other Gaza-based terror groups.
Guterres said that a final status solution to the conflict would be the most ideal way of ensuring the safety of Palestinians, but that “until such a solution is achieved, member-states may further explore all practical and feasible measures that will significantly improve the protection of the Palestinian civilian population.”
“Such measures would also improve the security of Israeli civilians,” he said.
Guterres said the lack of funds at the UN’s Palestinian refugee agency UNRWA, the result of President Donald Trump’s suspension of aid earlier this year, is “of particular concern.”
In January, Trump slammed the PA over its boycott of the US administration following his declaration of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and vowed the U.S. would not continue to give “massive payments” to the Palestinians when they are “no longer willing to talk peace.”
Earlier this month, Foreign Policy magazine published emails by President Donald Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner and other members of the peace team that slammed the agency and called for it to be shuttered.
In one email, Kushner called UNRWA “corrupt” and “unhelpful.”
“It is important to have an honest and sincere effort to disrupt UNRWA,” Kushner wrote in an email dated January 11, a few days before the U.S. froze $65 million in funding for UNRWA. “This [agency] perpetuates a status quo, is corrupt, inefficient and doesn’t help peace.”
UNRWA has also come under fire on many occasions for spreading anti-Semitic hate in its schools and employing members of terror organizations and supporters of terror. In February, UN Watch released an 130-page report exposing 40 UNRWA school employees in Gaza and elsewhere who engaged in incitement to terror against Israelis and expressed “anti-Semitism, including by posting Holocaust-denying videos and pictures celebrating Hitler.”
That month the agency also announced the suspension of an UNRWA employee suspected of having been elected a Hamas leader.
The UN itself released a report in 2015 that found Palestinian terror groups used three empty UNRWA schools in Gaza as a weapons cache. Moreover, it said that in at least two cases terrorists “probably” fired rockets at Israel from the schools during the 50-day summer conflict in 2014 between Israel and Hamas.