Netanyahu Urges Ban to Postpone Probe Into Shelling of UN Facilities in Gaza

UN chief and Israeli PM clash over issue civilian casualties in Gaza and investigative committee, an Israeli official said.

ברק רביד - צרובה
Barak Ravid
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Netanyahu and Ban Ki-Moon at the UN General Assembly. October 1, 2013.
Netanyahu and Ban Ki-Moon at the UN General Assembly. October 1, 2013.Credit: AP
ברק רביד - צרובה
Barak Ravid

NEW YORK - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon clashed Tuesday evening over the killing of Palestinian civilians when Israel attacked UNRWA facilities during the Gaza fighting this summer, Israeli officials said.

Netanyahu and his advisers asked Ban to postpone a proposed UN inquiry into the incidents, the officials said.

Israeli officials and UN diplomats said that much of the meeting dealt with the situation in Gaza and the setting up of a UN inquiry board. The conversation quickly morphed into an argument between Netanyahu and Ban, with each man rejecting the other’s position and the tension increasing.

An Israeli official said Ban was very emotional about the civilian casualties in Gaza and the importance of finding a solution to the conflict with the Palestinians. He said Israel had acted disproportionately in the Strip.

Netanyahu said Israel had done everything to prevent harm to civilians in Gaza, and that Israel was being discriminated against. He said Hamas’ acts should be investigated because “they’re the ones who committed war crimes.”

Ban said UN facilities in war zones were supposed to be immune from attack. The civilians sheltering there were hostages of those who fired rockets, so it was wrong to fire back and endanger their lives, he said, adding that such attacks contravened international law.

Cabinet Secretary Avichai Mendelblit told Ban that the military police were already investigating the attack on the UN facility in Beit Hanoun, where 15 Palestinian civilians were killed. He asked Ban to postpone the launching of the inquiry board until Israel had completed its own probe.

The UN officials did not pledge to do so, but suggested consultations among both sides’ legal advisers. After the meeting, a UN diplomat said the announcement on the inquiry board would be made when Ban decided the timing was right.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.

Subscribe today and save 40%

SUBSCRIBE
Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

Trump and Netanyahu at the White House in Washington, in 2020.

Three Years Later, Israelis Find Out What Trump Really Thought of Netanyahu

German soldier.

The Rival Jewish Spies Who Almost Changed the Course of WWII

Rio. Not all Jewish men wear black hats.

What Does a Jew Look Like? The Brits Don't Seem to Know

Galon. “I’m coming to accomplish a specific mission: to increase Meretz’s strength and ensure that the party will not tread water around the electoral threshold. If Meretz will be large enough, it will be the basis for a Jewish-Arab partnership.” Daniel Tchetchik

'I Have No Illusions About Ending the Occupation, but the Government Needs the Left'

Soldiers using warfare devices made by the Israeli defense electronics company Elbit Systems.

Russia-Ukraine War Catapults Israeli Arms Industry to Global Stage

Flame and smoke rise during an Israeli air strike, amid Israel-Gaza fighting, in Gaza City August 6, 2022.

Israel Should End Gaza Operation Now, if It Can