World Is Watching UN’s Response to Israel’s Crimes

Mona Ali Khalil lists Israel’s crimes from A to Z and says the U.N. must fulfill its responsibility to protect the civilians in Gaza and hold all perpetrators of mass atrocities accountable.

Aklouk Tower ruins after Israeli airstrikes in Gaza City on Oct. 8, 2023. ( Palestinian News & Information Agency for APAimages, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0)

By Mona Ali Khalil

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu boasts that he single-handedly blocked a Palestinian State from becoming a reality even though it is recognized by more than 130 countries and enjoys the status of an observer state in the United Nations.

In his 16 years in power, Netanyahu has ramped up illegal settlements, effectively annexing parts of the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem; funneled millions of dollars to prop up Hamas and undermine the Palestinian Authority; and concluded the Abraham Accords with four Arab governments willing to sideline the Palestinian cause: Bahrain, Morocco, Sudan and United Arab Emirates.

On Oct. 7, 2023, Hamas launched a bloody attack in southern Israel, which disrupted the status quo — one that was acceptable to Israelis but agonizing for Palestinians. According to Israel’s latest count, 685 Israeli civilians, 373 members of the Israeli security forces and 71 foreigners were killed as a result of that attack and the Israeli security forces’ delayed response to it.

Since then, Netanyahu and his extremist government have waged a vengeful war on Gaza and a possibly genocidal war against its entire population.

Israel’s American, European and Arab allies are seeking to resurrect the two-state solution as a path to peace for Israelis and Palestinians alike. Netanyahu objects to such proposals, saying that a Palestinian State “would give a huge reward to unprecedented terrorism.”

One can equally say — if not more so — that the Arab states and Muslim world’s renewed offer to recognize and to make peace with Israel along the 1967 green line would also give “a huge reward” to Israel’s unprecedented barbarism.

Crimes from A-to-Z

While the list of crimes by Hamas is long, including the deliberate killing of civilians, indiscriminate attacks on civilian areas and the taking of men, women and child hostages, the list of crimes by Israel and its armed forces and armed settlers is much longer. From A to Z, they include:

Acts of plausible genocide, according to the International Court of Justice and a United States federal court

Blockading Gaza for 17 years and denying food, water and medicine since Oct. 7

Collective punishment of the civilian population of Gaza

Dropping hundreds of 2,000-pound bombs on densely populated areas

Extrajudicially executing detainees as evidenced by mass graves of blindfolded zip-tied victims

Forcibly displacing nearly 2 million Palestinians from their homes

Giving arms to militant Israeli settlers to attack Palestinians and confiscate their homes

Harming Palestinians by deliberately inflicting conditions of life calculated to destroy them

Incessantly and disproportionately bombing Gaza for 152 days

Israeli air strike destruction in the Gaza Strip, Oct. 17, 2023. (Fars Media Corporation, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 4.0)

Jailing thousands of Palestinians, including hundreds of children, without charge

Killing more than 30,000 Palestinians: mostly women and children in 152 days

Leveling 70 percent of Gaza’s homes

Murdering more than 12,000 children, making Gaza a “graveyard of children”

Not allowing convoys of humanitarian aid to reach the starving people of Gaza

Occupying, annexing and constructing settlements on Palestinian territory

Parading semi naked men in a degrading and humiliating manner

Quoting biblical references to Amalek for revenge against Palestinian “men, women and infants”

Refusing to take the provisional measures ordered by the International Court of Justice

Spreading debunked lies of beheaded babies and other lies

Taking the lives of 162 U.N. staff and nearly 100 journalists

United Nations flag at half-mast at UN headquarters for colleagues killed in Gaza, Nov. 13, 2023. (UN Photo/Evan Schneider)

Using starvation as a weapon of war with half a million Gazans facing a looming famine

Vowing to “erase Gaza” and other genocide-inciting statements by Israeli officials

Willfully destroying Gaza’s hospitals, schools, universities, mosques and churches

Xenophobic and racial discrimination amounting to apartheid

Yelling with joy at destruction of civilian infrastructure

Zealous use of “anti-Semitism” label to silence journalists and human rights defenders

International Legal Proceedings

The International Court of Justice, principal judicial organ of the U.N., during public hearings on the request for an advisory opinion on Israel practices in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, which ran from Feb. 19 to 26, 2024. (ICJ)

During the tenure of its former prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, the International Criminal Court (ICC) opened an ongoing investigation into alleged crimes by Hamas and other Palestinian militant groups as well by the Israeli armed forces and armed Israeli settlers. The current ICC prosecutor, Karim Khan, has vowed to continue that investigation, including into the events of Oct. 7 and its aftermath.

[See also: Australian PM Referred to ICC as ‘Accessory to Gaza Genocide’]

The International Court of Justice has two ongoing proceedings directly involving Israel and Palestine. The first is a December 2022 request by the U.N. General Assembly for an advisory opinion on the legal consequences arising from the policies and practices of Israel in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem.

The second is a December 2023 case brought by South Africa against Israel alleging violations of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. The World Court, as the ICJ is also known, has recently concluded that genocide allegations are plausible and ordered provisional measures to protect the Palestinian people in Gaza.

[See also: South Africa Urgently Appeals to ICJ on Gaza Famine]

In December 2023, the U.N. Security Council adopted Resolution 2720 demanding the immediate, unconditional release of all hostages and calling on all parties to protect civilians and enable the immediate humanitarian assistance to Palestinians in Gaza. In the resolution, the council also reiterated its “unwavering commitment to the vision of the two-State solution.”

Also in December 2023, the 10th emergency special session of the U.N. General Assembly adopted its second resolution since the current crisis began. With 153 member states voting in favor, the assembly called for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire; reiterated its demand that all parties comply with their obligations regarding the protection of civilians and humanitarian assistance; and demanded the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages.

There are increasing calls for the deployment of a civilian protection force in Gaza and the West Bank as well as recommendations to impose diplomatic, financial or other measures, including an arms embargo on Israel. A resumed meeting of the 10th emergency special session could recommend such measures under the “Uniting for Peace” resolution [adopted in 1950].

The world is watching and waiting for the U.N. to fulfill its responsibility to protect the civilians in Gaza. We are looking to the U.N.’s principal organs and the international courts to hold the perpetrators of mass atrocities accountable — whether they be Palestinian militants or Israeli soldiers and armed settlers.

By holding the perpetrators and their leaders individually accountable, we can ensure that the peace and security that most Israelis and Palestinians yearn for can be pursued and achieved without rewarding the crimes of Hamas or the crimes of Israel.

Mona Ali Khalil is an internationally recognized public international lawyer with 25 years of U.N. and other experience, including as a former senior legal officer in the U.N. and in the IAEA, with expertise in peacekeeping, peace enforcement, disarmament and counterterrorism. She is the founder and director of MAK LAW INTERNATIONAL, an advisory and strategic consulting service assisting governments and intergovernmental organizations in the service of “We the Peoples.”

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

7 comments for “World Is Watching UN’s Response to Israel’s Crimes

  1. March 13, 2024 at 02:22

    Quoting biblical references to Amalek for revenge against Palestinian “men, women and infants”

    I am a Deist and an ex-Christian. I very strongly lean toward believing in God (though I accept uncertainty); however I do not at all believe any alleged revelation from God, such as the Bible or the Koran, to actually be such. Passages such as the alleged command from God to smite and destroy Amalek are a major part of the reason why.

    Here are a few excerpts from a letter by Thomas Paine to a Christian friend in which he gives very good reasons for not believing the Bible to be the “Word of God”. He refers to the passage in I Samuel in which God allegedly commands the Israelites to smite and destroy Amalek.

    But by what authority do you call the Bible the Word of God? for this is the first point to be settled. It is not your calling it so that makes it so, any more than the Mahometans calling the Koran the Word of God makes the Koran to be so

    The Bible represents God to be a changeable, passionate, vindictive being; making a world and then drowning it, afterwards repenting of what he had done, and promising not to do so again. Setting one nation to cut the throats of another, and stopping the course of the sun till the butchery should be done. But the works of God in the creation preach to us another doctrine. In that vast volume we see nothing to give us the idea of a changeable, passionate, vindictive God; everything we there behold impresses us with a contrary idea – that of unchangeableness and of eternal order, harmony, and goodness.

    The Bible represents God with all the passions of a mortal, and the creation proclaims him with all the attributes of a God.

    It is from the Bible that man has learned cruelty, rapine, and murder; for the belief of a cruel God makes a cruel man. That bloodthirsty man, called the prophet Samuel, makes God to say, (I Sam. xv. 3) `Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not, but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.’

    That Samuel or some other impostor might say this, is what, at this distance of time, can neither be proved nor disproved, but in my opinion it is blasphemy to say, or to believe, that God said it. All our ideas of the justice and goodness of God revolt at the impious cruelty of the Bible. It is not a God, just and good, but a devil, under the name of God, that the Bible describes.

    What makes this pretended order to destroy the Amalekites appear the worse, is the reason given for it. The Amalekites, four hundred years before, according to the account in Exodus xvii. (but which has the appearance of fable from the magical account it gives of Moses holding up his hands), had opposed the Israelites coming into their country, and this the Amalekites had a right to do, because the Israelites were the invaders, as the Spaniards were the invaders of Mexico. This opposition by the Amalekites, at that time, is given as a reason, that the men, women, infants and sucklings, sheep and oxen, camels and asses, that were born four hundred years afterward, should be put to death; and to complete the horror, Samuel hewed Agag, the chief of the Amalekites, in pieces, as you would hew a stick of wood.


  2. Kathy Gustafson
    March 12, 2024 at 12:54

    How can the UN fix a 75-year continuing wrong. It’s an Anglo-European organization despite its name and the nonAnglo-European members must be more than a bit tired of it. Member after member after member speaking at the “policies and practices” ICJ hearing cited hundreds of resolutions spanning decades that have gone unenforced. Israel has acted with impunity since 1948 and will continue to do so. IF the ICJ should rule against Israel, months or years from now after the Palestinians have been thoroughly cleansed and Gaza and the West Bank annexed, it will not matter. The UN will have become totally irrelevant. The Anglo-Europeans, mostly the US, won’t put the Palestinians’ right ahead of Israel impunity. They would rather sacrifice the UN.

  3. John Gilberts
    March 12, 2024 at 03:54

    What a shame the piece is tainted by the demonization of Palestinian people’s resistance movement, Hamas. As if we don’t get enough of that in the msm media already.

  4. Vera Gottlieb
    March 11, 2024 at 16:13

    And again…israel will ‘flip the finger’ and continue with business as usual…The price for this behaviour will be a steep one.

  5. Hobbs
    March 11, 2024 at 15:14

    Good list. Desecrating graves should be on it too.

  6. JonnyJames
    March 11, 2024 at 13:11

    The UN is a intergovernmental organization that has no power unless the UNSC approves and there are no vetoes. Sadly, the US has and will veto any resolution that curtails US or Israeli policy in any way. The US will ignore any court or law that attempts to block any US policy. The US has even threatened sanctions on the ICC and individuals.

    For that matter, the US will abuse and/or ignore the law to achieve its objective. Julian Assange is a prime example.

    Sadly, there is nothing the UN can do without the approval of the “global hegemon”. When it comes to geopolitics, there is no rule of law, it is the law of power and interests. The Law of the Jungle prevails, as Fidel Castro observed many years ago.

    The Houthis in Yemen appear to be the only ones who attempt to fight back. To be crude: The other Arab states have thrown Palestine under the bus, and Hezbollah and Iran don’t want to get nuked. Iran and Hezbollah have been provoked, but they have been cautious not to escalate.

  7. Ray Peterson
    March 11, 2024 at 12:38

    Seems like the United Nations is unable to end the US/Israeli/West
    genocide and no world powers are willing to act to halt the insanity.
    Holding Hamas responsible for attacking such a triumvirate
    of an overwhelmingly one-sided force of evil, sides with the insane.

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