International body also renews resolution condemning use of civilians as human shields by terror groups
All Israel News Staff | July 8, 2021
For the first time the United Nations recognized the existence of anti-Semitic terrorism, a decision made against the backdrop of the current wave of global anti-Semitism. Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan noted the importance of the Global Counterterrorism Strategy (GCTS) vote. “We welcome the GCTS’ acknowledgement of the upswing in hate speech and terrorist attacks targeting religious and ethnic communities, which included an explicit condemnation of anti-Semitism, in line with the findings of the Secretary General’s report on global terrorism,” Erdan said. Erdan and the Permanent Mission of Israel to the UN lauded this as a great achievement. “It is critical that the international community take a clear stance against these [anti-Semitic] attacks and develop additional tools to combat such appalling assaults against Jewish and other groups.”
The UN also condemned the use of the Internet as a tool to encourage and recruit terrorists and called on the Internet sector to take responsibility for the misuses of the technology – another achievement for Erdan who had made this his goal since 2015 when he was first appointed Israel’s Minister of Public Security by former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The GCTS vote was part of the UN’s Counter-Terrorism Week, originally scheduled for last summer, but postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The General Assembly also passed a resolution on Wednesday condemning the use of civilians as human shields by terrorist groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah. Erdan took to Twitter to praise the UN’s decision to adopt the stance against the Hamas terrorist organization who has hidden behind women and children in hospitals and schools while launching missiles toward Israel. “I welcome the resolution and am glad that our diplomatic efforts were successful. We will not stop fighting until all countries understand that terrorism is terrorism is terrorism and can never be justified!” he wrote. Erdan led the Israeli delegation to push for the resolution and is being lauded for its formalization just one month after the 11-day conflict between Israel and Gaza, where Israel defended itself against 3,500 incoming missiles, a campaign known as “Operation Guardian of the Walls.” “For Israel, the adoption of the GCTS is, unfortunately, not a theoretical or academic exercise. During the weeks we sat here debating this resolution, Israeli civilians from our capital in Jerusalem to Tel Aviv and Ashkelon, sat in bomb shelters because of Hamas’s relentless terror attacks,” Erdan said in his speech following the adoption of the resolution.
Hamas’ practice of using human shields during conflicts with Israel, such as the one in May, has been deemed by many in the international community as a double war crime. “It’s a double war crime. And what I mean by that is that these rockets that are being fired from the Gaza Strip – by either Hamas or their partners in crime, the Islamic Jihad – these are fired from civilian population centers, from schools, from playgrounds, from hospitals, from mosques, from factories. And so that’s one war crime,” Founder and Editor of ALL ISRAEL NEWS Joel C. Rosenberg said at the time. “Then, when they fire at Israeli civilians – at our schools, our kindergartens, our playgrounds, our homes, our apartments, our businesses, that’s a second war crime,” said Rosenberg during the May interview.
Erdan reiterated the importance that the resolution the maintained language condemning the use of human shields. “Terrorists must not be allowed to use schools, homes and hospitals to shield their murderous activities. Terrorism is terrorism is terrorism and should never be explained away, justified, or excused,” he said. The UN’s last GCTS took place during June 2018, when then-Israeli envoy to the UN, Danny Dannon, praised the UN for the very same “human shield” resolution, calling it “another important step in our activities to change the rules of the game at the UN.”
The GCTS was formed in 2006 to enhance national, regional and international efforts in order to counter terrorism. It was adopted by consensus of all UN member states who, for the first time, agreed to a common strategic and operational approach to fighting terrorism. The strategy is reviewed every two years, with 2021 marking the seventh review of the document since it was first adopted.
The World Bank estimated that the May conflict resulted in $570 million in structural and economic damage to Gaza.