U.N. Confirms Hamas Horrors on October 7 but Blames Israel for ‘Crimes Against Humanity’

The Aftermath of Hamas Attack On kibbutz Kfar Aza
Gili Yaari/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The United Nations Independent Inquiry on the Occupied Palestinian Territory released its first report on the Gaza war on Wednesday.

The report accused both Israeli forces and Hamas terrorists of “war crimes” but held Israel solely responsible for “crimes against humanity,” citing the large number of civilian deaths Hamas claims Israel has caused during its military campaign.

“The intentional use of heavy weapons with large destructive capacity in densely populated areas constitutes an intentional and direct attack on the civilian population,” the report said in its condemnation of the Israeli campaign.

The U.N. report was unsparing in its description of the atrocities perpetrated by Hamas and other terrorist groups — aided and abetted by “Palestinian civilians” — on October 7. The first few pages of the report are packed with mind-shattering horror, including the brutal murder of children and the elderly, hundreds of abductions, and the extensive use of rape and sexual violence by Hamas savages.

The commission noted that Hamas “instrumentalized” Israeli children, using them as bait to lure adults into slaughter. Parents were raped and murdered before the eyes of their young children, whom terrorists, in turn, abducted. Hamas operatives gleefully filmed their depredations, sometimes posing with captive children as trophies.

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Joel B. Pollak / Breitbart News

However, the report spends far more time detailing Israel’s actions in the subsequent Gaza war, and, astoundingly, it held Hamas and its allies responsible for none of the alleged “war crimes” or “crimes against humanity” committed after October 7. 

The indisputable fact that Hamas deliberately puts civilians in harm’s way by using them as human shields was dispensed with in a single paragraph of the U.N. document: “The Commission is aware of reports and ISF allegations that the military wing of Hamas and other non-State armed groups in Gaza operated from within civilian areas. It continues its investigation into this issue.”

Page after page of the report accused Israeli forces of deliberately targeting Palestinian civilians for no good reason at all. The entire Gaza campaign was portrayed as a hysterical overreaction and a crime of pure vindictiveness, in which Israel used starvation and disease as deliberate tactics against civilians:

Israeli authorities consistently presented their military objectives as destroying all of Hamas, releasing Israeli hostages and preventing future threats to the State of Israel emanating from the Gaza Strip, yet their actions and the consequences of their actions indicate other motivations including, vengeance and collective punishment. Statements made by Israeli officials reflected policy and practice of inflicting widespread destruction, killing large numbers of civilians and forcible transfer. The Commission found that statements made by Israeli officials amounted to incitement and may constitute other serious international crimes. Statements aimed at systematically dehumanizing Palestinians, particularly Palestinian men and boys, and called for collective punishment

Every statement that Israeli officials made about the war was scrutinized and introduced as evidence that the Israeli government wanted to inflict maximum suffering on Palestinian civilians. No one from Hamas is quoted at all in the section on the Gaza conflict. There was no mention of Hamas using hospitals as military bases, hoarding supplies for itself, or interfering with humanitarian relief shipments.

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Israel Defense Forces

The report concluded with a brief acknowledgment of “reports and ISF allegations” that “the military wing of Hamas and other non-State armed groups in Gaza operated from within civilian areas” but followed up with only a mild admonishment that “all parties to the conflict” should “avoid increasing risk to civilians by using civilian objects for military purposes.”

In sum, the U.N. report condemns Hamas and its allies for committing unspeakable atrocities on October 7 but presents the Palestinians as helpless victims afterward, holding Israel solely responsible for all of the death and destruction in Gaza.

At the end of the report, in a very short list of demands for Palestinian “authorities in Gaza,” the U.N. asked them to release their hostages, “stop the indiscriminate firing of rockets, mortars, and other munitions towards civilian populations,” and stop using civilian property for military activity. All of those actions are war crimes, which the body of the report does not mention at all.

The U.N. managed to work some Palestinian victims into its summary of the October 7 horrors:

For Israelis, the attack of 7 October was unprecedented in scale in its modern history, when in one single day hundreds of people were killed and abducted, invoking painful trauma of past persecution not only for Israeli Jews but for Jewish people everywhere. Palestinians with Israeli citizenship were also deeply affected by the attack of 7 October.

The report and its authors said Israel must agree to an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

Commission Chairman Navi Pillay said on Wednesday:

Israel must immediately stop its military operations and attacks in Gaza, including the assault on Rafah, which has cost the lives of hundreds of civilians and again displaced hundreds of thousands of people to unsafe locations without basic services and humanitarian assistance.

Meirav Eilon Shahar, Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, on Wednesday accused the U.N. commission of “systematic anti-Israeli discrimination.”

Shahar said the biased report “has once again proven that its actions are all in the service of a narrow-led political agenda against Israel.”

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The Israeli mission to the U.N. noted that the report did not detail Hamas crimes after October 7, including constant rocket attacks on Israeli civilians, and said the report “outrageously and repugnantly attempts to draw a false equivalence between Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers and Hamas terrorists with regards to acts of sexual violence.”

The Biden administration seemed to nervously back away from the U.N. report on Wednesday, mumbling that it would “look at” the U.N. document but “do the work to make our own assessments,” as Secretary of State Antony Blinken put it.


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