The report talks about the repercussions of the summer of 2014 hostilities. It is one-sided, biased, lacking in facts and based on selective and often unreliable data. It is everything a UN report should not be.
The ESCWA report and the statements we have heard today are yet another repetitive episode in the saga of one-sided, inflammatory Israel bashing. This has over the years become the prevalent way by which the Palestinians exploit the UN system, making it its own private theater of the absurd.
The report is one-sided, biased, lacking in facts and based on selective and often unreliable data. It is everything a UN report should not be.
The report talks about the repercussions of the summer of 2014 hostilities. Were one to take the report at face value, one would not know for example, that Hamas, an internationally recognized terror organization, administers the Gaza Strip through violence, repression, denial of basic human rights and the miss-use of economic and financial resources. Indeed we would not know that Hamas initiated the hostilities, fired thousands of rockets and missiles on Israeli cities, deliberately escalated the situation, and repeatedly broke ceasefires.
This conflict caused socio-economic hardships on both sides. Millions of Israeli families spent the summer months running for shelter from the thousands of rockets fired indiscriminately by Hamas. Thousands of children are still undergoing psychological therapy due to 14 years of non-stop missile attacks on their houses. Thousands of business in southern Israel closed down, causing economic hardship; yet, we don’t see that reflected in the report.
It is not surprising that this biased report chooses to ignore the GRM, a UN-Israeli joint mechanism to rehabilitate the Gaza Strip under the supervision and control of the UN itself, the very same body that employs workers of ESCWA. In the framework of the GRM, Israel declared tens of new projects in Gaza and the doubling of the number of entry permits for the business sector. Almost 2 million tons of building materials entered Gaza for reconstruction of infrastructure and international community projects.
Since the 2014 conflict, over 347 projects have been already authorized by the GRM, of which approximately 63% are completed or under construction. An additional 141 international projects outside the GRM were authorized, with over 70% completed or currently being implemented.
Israel increased entry permits into Israel for urgent medical care. More than 1,800 Gaza citizens crossed Alenby bridge for medical treatment since last summer. On average, over 20,000 people a month have entered Israel through the Erez Crossing from the Gaza Strip in the last few months.
In addition, the Kerem Shalom Crossing has been expanded to allow an increased capacity of 800 trucks a day, and a further expansion is planned in the near future, to accommodate over 1000 trucks a day.
Finally I wish to say that It is surreal to hear, year in and year out, allegations of human rights violations by Israel from some of the world’s most infamous human rights abusers.
The Syrian delegate’s cynical attacks on my country today are just another desperate attempt to divert attention from the crimes they commit against their own people on a daily basis. How can we take his lies seriously while his regime shamelessly kills thousands of its citizens, as well as many hundreds of Palestinians?
Perhaps he would like to inform the committee how dropping barrel bombs on schools, markets and hospitals are compatible with development.
Equally ridiculous is the Qatari delegate’s audacity to criticize Israel, while his country serves as the chief financial sponsor for some of the most brutal and dangerous terrorist groups in the Middle East. Their domestic record is not a shining example of human rights either, as they enslave foreign workers under sub-human conditions causing scores of injuries and deaths.
Oh, and let us not forget Iran, which has a special talent: It represses its own people while simultaneously helping other tyrants to slaughter theirs. That’s what you call multi-tasking.
Perhaps the representative of Iran would like to enlighten us as to how many hundreds of political opponents, homosexuals and alleged traitors have been executed in Iran so far this year.
Iran is also the world’s central banker, chief trainer and primary sponsor of terror. It is always an interesting experience when the delegate of the greatest state sponsor of terror speaks out about development and human rights.
Hearing all the accusations against Israel and the ever-so-vocal support for the Palestinians, one would presume that all the Arab delegates speaking today represent countries that actually assist the economic development of the Palestinians.
These Arab countries like to talk the talk, but when it comes to walking the walk, well that’s a different story. Out of the nearly two billion dollars that were pledged by Arab countries for the reconstruction of Gaza at the Cairo conference, less than 200 million dollars have actually been disbursed. That’s 10 percent walk and 90 percent talk.
The baseless accusations and malicious lies made by the Palestinian representative have been answered time and again and I don’t want to waste more of this committee’s time by repeating what has already been said.
Perhaps we should ask ourselves why the Palestinians repeat their accusations like a broken record, but avoid answering one simple question – why don’t they return to the negotiations table? The answer is clear – it’s easier to blame others, incite to violence and manipulate the truth rather than take responsibility and act like the state they claim to be.