According to the United Nations, the deportation of a convicted Palestinian-French terrorist from Israel constitutes a "war crime."
This is the same UN whose officials hold meetings on a regular basis with leaders of Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist group designated as a terrorist organization by the US, Canada, the European Union, Japan, Australia, Israel and the United Kingdom.
This is also the same UN whose representatives have failed to condemn Hamas for building tunnels beneath schools run by the United Nations Relief and Work Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) in the Gaza Strip.
On December 19, the UN Human Rights Office issued a statement condemning Israel's deportation of Palestinian-French "human rights defender" Salah Hammouri to France. "Deporting a protected person from occupied territory is a grave breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention, constituting a war crime," according to the statement.
The "human rights defender, " about whom the UN is so worried, was arrested in 2005 and accused of plotting to murder Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, founder of the ultra-Orthodox Shas Party and former Sephardic Chief Rabbi of Israel.
Hammouri, who was accused of membership in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terror group, was sentenced to seven years in prison, but was released in a prisoner exchange agreement between Israel and Hamas in December 2011.
The PFLP, the second-largest group in the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) after Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah faction, is also designated as a terrorist organization by the US, Japan, Canada, Australia, Israel and the European Union.
Hammouri worked for the Palestinian "human rights group" Addameer, which "offers free legal aid" to Palestinian prisoners held by Israel for their involvement in terrorism.
Addameer is an affiliate of the PFLP and several of its employees have links to that terror group. On October 22, 2021, Israeli authorities declared Addameer a terrorist organization because it is part of "a network of organizations" that operates "on behalf of the PFLP."
Israel's Interior Ministry said Hammouri had "organized, inspired and planned to commit terror attacks against citizens and well-known Israelis."
Hammouri's affiliation with the PFLP and his involvement in planning attacks against Israelis, does not, however, seem to concern the UN Human Rights Office. Instead of condemning the convicted terrorist, the UN Human Rights Office chose to condemn Israel for daring to take measures to protect its citizens against terrorism. The UN Human Rights Office apparently believes it is perfectly all right for a Palestinian terror group to plan the murder of Israeli civilians.
It seems the UN also has not heard of the PFLP's involvement in suicide bombings, shootings, and assassinations against Israelis over the past few decades. The PFLP, which was the first Palestinian organization to hijack airplanes in the 1960s and 1970s, was responsible for the assassination of Israeli Minister of Tourism Rehavam Ze'evi in 2001.
Rather than taking a tough approach against Palestinian terror organizations, senior UN officials are meeting with Hamas, the Iran-sponsored Islamist group that seized control of the Gaza Strip in a violent and bloody coup in 2007.
Hours after the deportation of Hammouri to France, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland met with a Hamas delegation headed by Khalil al-Hayya, the group's deputy chief, in the Gaza Strip.
At the meeting, the Hamas officials "reiterated that the Palestinian people and parties have the right to resist the Israeli occupation."
Hamas, in short, told the UN official that the Palestinians are entitled to continue their campaign to murder Jews. When Hamas talks about the "resistance," it is referring to suicide bombings, shootings, stabbings, car-rammings and rocket attacks.
Hamas does not endorse any form of peaceful "resistance" against Israel. As its charter states, Hamas believes only in one form of resistance: jihad (holy war). According to Article 15 of the charter:
"In face of the Jews' usurpation of Palestine, it is compulsory that the banner of jihad be raised. It is necessary to instill the spirit of jihad in the heart of the nation so that they would confront the enemies and join the ranks of the fighters."
The UN official informed the Hamas officials that the international community is concerned about the results of the latest Israeli elections and the rise of "extremist right-wing parties to power."
Take note: here is a senior UN official sitting with representatives of a terror group whose charter calls for the elimination of Israel and who is expressing "concern" over the rise of right-wing parties in Israel.
The UN official is not worried about the rise of Hamas to power in the Gaza Strip and the terror organization turning the area into a launching pad for rocket attacks against Israel. He is not worried about Hamas diverting billions of dollars donated by the international community to construct terror tunnels from which to attack Israel. He is not worried about Hamas's daily calls to increase the amount of Jewish blood spilled by Palestinian knives.
The UN official appears unaware that many Israelis voted for right-wing parties because of the increased terror attacks by Hamas and other terrorist groups.
It is ironic that a UN official, whose title is "Special Coordinator of the Middle East Peace Process", sits with a Palestinian group that is entirely dedicated to sabotaging peace.
As Article 13 of the Hamas charter states:
"Initiatives, and so-called peaceful solutions and international conferences, are in contradiction to the principles of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas). There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors."
What will happen next? Will the UN send one of its "peace envoys" to meet with leaders of the Islamic State (ISIS) or Al-Qaeda terror groups?
The meeting between the UN official and the Hamas representatives came three weeks after another UN agency, UNRWA, revealed that it found a terror tunnel under one of its schools in the Gaza Strip. Yet, instead of openly and directly calling out Hamas for endangering the lives of schoolchildren and UN staff, the agency published a bizarre statement that failed to mention the terror group by name as being responsible for the tunnel. The statement, in addition, failed to use the word tunnel. Instead, it described the tunnel as "man-made cavity."
Notably, this is the same UNRWA that never misses an opportunity to condemn Israel.
In its charter, the UN declares that one of its purposes is "to maintain international peace and security and to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to peace." The recent actions of the UN, however, show that instead of boycotting and condemning terrorists, the organization is more concerned about the rights of terrorists who plan to murder Israeli civilians than achieving peace and security.
Instead of coming out strongly and unambiguously against Hamas for building a terror tunnel under a school, the UN is dispatching one of its top officials to meet with leaders of Hamas.
The UN appears to be doing its utmost to run cover for the terror group by failing to hold it directly responsible.
This is hardly how to "prevent and remove threats to peace," as the UN claims in its charter. In fact, the actions of the UN clearly demonstrate that the organization is actually cozying up to terrorists while denouncing those who combat terrorism.
In its defense of, and engagement with, terrorists, the UN is boosting the ability of Hamas and the PFLP to continue their slaughter and genocide.
Bassam Tawil is a Muslim Arab based in the Middle East.