Israeli Paratrooper Forces uncover a tunnel network used by Hamas in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.
Jewish human rights group The Simon Wiesenthal Center on Wednesday called for the United Nations Human Rights Council to investigate the deaths of the 160 Gazan children who died building Hamas’s terror tunnels into Israel. The call comes a week after the same UNHRC condemned Israel, with a majority of its members voting to open an investigation into “human rights abuses” by the Israel Defense Forces as it struck back at Hamas, whose installations are hidden among civilian infrastructure, including its de-facto headquarters, inside of the Al Shifa Hospital.
Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, said, ”Hamas officials openly admitted that children were used to help build their terror tunnels and that at least 160 Palestinian kids died during so-called work accidents.”
The revelation about the child labor used by Hamas came from an article in Jewish online news magazine Tablet, which cited a 2012 article in the Institute for Palestine Studies by Nicolas Pelham.
“A similarly cavalier approach to child labor and tunnel fatalities damaged the movement’s [Hamas’s] standing with human-rights groups, despite government assurances dating back to 2008 that it was considering curbs.”
“During a police patrol that the author was permitted to accompany in December 2011, nothing was done to impede the use of children in the tunnels, where, much as in Victorian coal mines, they are prized for their nimble bodies. At least 160 children have been killed in the tunnels, according to Hamas officials. Safety controls on imports appear similarly lax, although the TAC insists that a sixteen-man contingent carries out sporadic spot-checks.”
According to Pelham, since 2008, Hamas’s ‘Tunnel Affairs Commission’ stonewalled complaints about the illegal use of child labor and their deaths from the dangerous work.
The surprising length and level of completion of the Hamas terror tunnel, as exposed by the IDF, on March 21, 2014. Photo: IDF / Twitter.
Cooper asked: “Isn’t there a single member of the UNHRC, whether the U.S., Germany, UK, or France to stand up and demand accountability for Hamas’s barbarities, at least when the victims are Palestinian children? And where is the multitude of NGOs devoted to protecting children? Will they ever target their moral outrage at anyone in the Middle East other than Israel?”
He said, “Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised by anything Hamas does. What else to expect from a regime that brainwashes children as young as three with genocidal propaganda using Mickey Mouse characters to convert them to the cult of suicide bombers; that has rewarded the voters in Gaza who put them in power, by using their constituents as human shields?”
“Still, a UN investigation could at least restore a degree of dignity to these Palestinian kids that was robbed from them in life by their leaders and belatedly put to the terrorist leaders that perhaps the international community will begin to hold them accountable for their crimes against humanity”, Cooper concluded.
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Source: The Algemeiner