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Every month, the Security Council is presented with a report by the Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Robert Serry. I suppose that it is purely coincidental that the Special Coordinator can easily tap into sources and data about Israeli infractions, but when it comes to Palestinian crimes, the well runs dry.
One would think that a report on the Middle East would focus on the 100,000 people killed in Syria and the tens of millions of people who have taken to the streets from Benghazi to Beirut demanding freedom. Yet month after month, these reports almost exclusively address Israel and the Palestinians and even then, largely ignore Israel’s pressing security concerns.
The details of every arrest and house search are given to the Council, but it is never reported that these activities are done to prevent terrorism and save Israeli lives. As an example, the Special Coordinator has never revealed that Palestinian terror attacks grew by 50 per cent between 2011 and 2012, and that 34 attempted abductions were prevented by Israeli security forces so far in 2013. The Special Coordinator has also never reported that in 2012, Israeli men, women and children were the targets of 2,736 shootings, rockets, improvised explosive devices and other terror attacks.
Instead, the Security Council receives a lengthy report that paints a distorted picture of the situation. Most recently, on 23 July 2013, the Special Coordinator reported that:
• “Israeli forces conducted six limited incursions into Gaza.” It is curious that, in his report, the Special Coordinator did not note that the purpose of the IDF activities is to maintain and repair the border fence and neutralize land mines.
• “… the Israeli Navy forced Palestinian fishing boats ashore by shooting in their vicinity.” The Special Coordinator did not report that during the month of July, 1,167 Palestinian fishing boats crossed into Israel. Every fisherman who crosses into Israeli territory is notified via a public address system and asked to turn back. Firing a warning shot is a last resort that is only employed when fishermen refuse to leave Israel’s territorial waters.
• “Palestinian security forces continued working to maintain law and order in the West Bank.” In truth, despite having detained over 1,000 Hamas operatives in 2012, not a single one was prosecuted on terrorism charges. This is a fact that has somehow eluded the authors of the monthly Security Council reports. It would seem worth noting that no matter the severity of the crime committed, Palestinians rarely receive prison terms and when they do, they are charged with minor offences that carry a light sentence.
I should be grateful if you would circulate the present letter to the members of the Security Council and have it issued as a document of the Council.