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Thursday, March 07, 2013

UN verifies that BBC reporter's son was killed by Hamas (updated)

The UN Human Rights Council released an advanced version of its report on Operation Pillar of Defense.

The report appears to be remarkably fair, especially for the notoriously anti-Israel UN Human Rights Council. When it discusses Gaza civilians that died, it is willing to entertain the possibility that there was a legitimate target in the area for most cases, something we had not seen before. It properly places caveats around its findings of alleged violations by Israel of international law:
In some cases, more information would be required to make a more specific assessment. Based on the information available to OHCHR, the IDF did not consistently uphold the basic principles of conduct of hostilities, namely, the principles of distinction, proportionality and precautions. Further, the effectiveness, sufficiency and adequacy of precautions taken remains questionable in several cases.
No such doubt exists for Hamas' violations:
Palestinian armed groups continuously violated international humanitarian law, by launching indiscriminate attacks on Israel and by attacking civilians, thereby disregarding the principle of distinction. The armed groups failed to take all feasible precautions in attacks, in particular by launching rockets from populated areas, which put the population at grave risk. Furthermore, several Palestinians were killed by rockets launched by the armed groups that fell short and landed in the Gaza Strip...
This is pretty astonishing.

One example given is notable.

The report states is that Omar Mishrawi, the son of BBC reporter Jihad Mishrawi, was apparently killed by a Hamas rocket, as I reported at the time. (I was the first to have noticed this, to the best of my knowledge.)

The UNHRC report says:
On 14 November, a woman, her 11-month-old infant, and an 18-year-old adult in Al-Zaitoun were killed by what appeared to be a Palestinian rocket that fell short of Israel.69 In addition, OHCHR received reports related to an incident in which two civilians, including a child, were killed, and five persons, including three children, were injured, as a result of what appeared to be a Palestinian rocket that fell short and hit a house in Al-Quds Street, near Khilla Gas Station, Jabalya, on 16 November.
The first incident is the Mishrawi case; the second one is talking about Mahmoud Sadallah, which I also had reported at the time.

The footnote (69) says simply that the Misharawi case was monitored by the UN OHCHR, meaning that the UN itself investigated this case and believes that the attack came from a Hamas rocket, not Israel, contrary to how the BBC reported it (as well as the PCHR, HRW, the Daily Mail and pretty much everyone else.)

Remember, the BBC had a long follow-up report where Jon Donnison pretended to address the inconsistencies I had brought up, and he dismissed them with "Most likely is that Omar died in one of the twenty bombings that the Israeli military says made up its initial wave of attacks. Omar was not a terrorist."

While I would like to know the specific evidence that the OHCHR had that indicated that a Hamas rocket killed the baby Omar, the BBC's assumption that Israel must be guilty by default was clearly incorrect.

Will Jon Donnison and the BBC report this?

(h/t Gidon Shaviv)

UPDATE: Some people are pointing out inconsistencies between the UN report and the Mishrawi case. The UN is wrong in saying that the child's mother died; it was actually his aunt (Jihad's sister in law.) And another relative died from injuries about ten days later as Ma'an reported. There were no incidences in Beit Zaytoun that day that were even close to this (according to PCHR), so this is the same incident.