“Today’s resolution explicitly condemned terrorists for the despicable double war crime of hiding behind women and children while attacking civilians,” Danon stated.
The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on Tuesday adopted an update of its Global Counter Terrorism Strategy, which included an unprecedented condemnation of the use of human shields by terrorists.
The diplomatic achievement was accomplished thanks to diplomatic efforts by Israel’s Mission to the UN, which cooperated with the US mission.
“Today’s resolution is another important step in our efforts as we change the rules of the game at the UN,” said Israel’s Ambassador Danny Danon, welcoming the resolution.
“Less than two weeks ago, a plurality of members in the General Assembly voted to denounce Hamas, and now today’s resolution explicitly condemned terrorists for the despicable double war crime of hiding behind women and children while attacking civilians.”
Danon added that “there is much work to be done, but this milestone accomplishment brings us closer to the day when the UN will focus on truly bringing security and stability to the world.”
The Global Counter Terrorism Strategy was originally adopted by the UNGA in September 2006 and is reviewed every two years. It is described by the UN as “a unique global instrument used to enhance national, regional and international efforts to counter terrorism.”
The updated new paragraph denounces the misuse of “schools and hospitals, for military purposes such as launching attacks and storing weapons” and strongly condemned the use of “civilians to shield military objectives from attacks.”
Hamas’ Notorious Use of Human Shields
The Palestinian terror organizations are notorious for their use of human shields while attacking Israeli civilians, and the IDF has widely documented this heinous conduct.
In February, the US Congress unanimously passed the Hamas Human Shields Prevention Act, which sanctions the terrorist group for its use of civilians as human shields.
At the heart of Hamas’ strategy is the use of Gazans as human shields–– a war crime and terrorist tactic aimed at exploiting the moral sensibility of the enemy.
In June 2017, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) discovered Hamas tunnels under two of its schools in Gaza.
In August 2017, the head of the IDF’s Southern Command, Maj. Gen. Eyal Zamir, told reporters that Hamas had built tunnel systems beneath an apartment building and a family home in the northern Gaza Strip.
“Our intelligence shows without any doubt that Hamas is building its infrastructure for the next round of fighting in the civilian arena,” Zamir explained.
In a video from 2008, a senior Hamas member explained how he put innocent civilians in harm’s way after the IDF called him, warning him to evacuate his family from his house ahead of a pending airstrike.
Hezbollah’s 100,000 Rockets Under Homes
The Hezbollah terror organization uses similar tactics, and is hiding an arsenal of over 100,000 rockets and missiles, hundreds of which can reach anywhere in Israel, underneath human shields in southern Lebanon.
Hezbollah made extensive use of human shields in the Second Lebanon War, with the result that nearly half of the estimated 1,200 Lebanese deaths were civilians.
Hezbollah is using villagers in southern Lebanon as human shields for its rockets and missiles in order to ensure that any Israeli operation against Hezbollah will result in a large number of Lebanese civilian deaths.
For instance, over one-third of the 90 buildings in the village of Muhaybib are being used by Hezbollah. In a larger village, Shaqra, Hezbollah is operating in some 400 of its 1,200 buildings. The IDF estimates that at least 200 villages are being used by Hezbollah as “military strongholds.”