Yad Vashem: Syria Shows Mechanisms Developed After Holocaust to Prevent Crimes Against Humanity Are Failing

Memorial center's chairman says world's indifference enables mass killing of civilians

A child is treated in a hospital in Douma, eastern Ghouta in Syria, after what a Syria medical relief group claims was a suspected chemical attack April, 7, 2018.
\ HANDOUT/ REUTERS

The recent chemical attack in Syria shows that the safeguards established after the Holocaust to prevent crimes against humanity are failing, the chairman of Israel's official Holocaust memorial center said Tuesday.

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“In light of the horrific images emanating from Syria over recent days of the mass killing of civilians, including children, in the chemical attack, it would appear that the mechanisms and international bodies developed after the Holocaust to prevent the recurrence of crimes against humanity are failing,” Yad Vashem chairman Avner Shalev said.

Shalev called on the international community to act in the wake of the attack in order to “put an end to the human suffering.” At least 70 people were killed and hundreds injured in the attack in Douma attributed to the Assad regime, according to reports. 

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“The terrible scenes we are witnessing, right across our border, are a result of the world's indifference, which enables them to keep occurring," he continued. “I call on the global community not to stand on the sidelines, but to act determinedly to put an end to the human suffering and provide humanitarian aid to the victims.”

Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned the attack on Monday, accusing he Syrian government of “crimes against humanity.”

“Israel strongly condemns the chemical weapons strike carried out by Syria on April 7, one year after the mass murder carried out by the regime in Khan Shaykhun,” the statement read.

“The Syrian regime continues to perpetrate crimes against humanity using outlawed weapons,” the statement from the Foreign Ministry continued.

“The attack shows clearly that Syria continues to possess lethal weapons and even manufacture new ones. Syria is grossly violating its obligations and the decision of the international community,” the ministry concluded.