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Fact Sheets: Where Is Hamas in UN Ceasefire Resolution?

(Updated January 2009)

The UN Security Council has adopted Resolution 1860 calling for a cease-fire in Israel’s war with Hamas . It is a remarkable document that acknowledges only one party in the conflict and it is not the one that started the war. While Israel is mentioned five times in the resolution, the word “Hamas” shockingly does not appear once. Well, it would be shocking to anyone unfamiliar with the UN’s history.

The resolution talks about Israeli withdrawal, the humanitarian issues in Gaza, and declared that Gaza will be part of a Palestinian state. Nowhere, however, does it condemn the more than 450 rockets that Hamas has fired just since the war began, let alone the roughly 6,000 it launched at Israeli civilians in the preceding three years. In fact, the resolution makes no mention whatsoever of Israel's right of self-defense; makes no mention of any need to return Hamas kidnap-victim and Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit; condemns “all acts of terrorism,” which allows Islamic countries to label Israel’s actions as terrorism; and places no specific responsibility on Egypt to stop smuggling through its territory into Gaza. The resolution also expresses concern only about the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. “No concern is expressed over the humanitarian crisis in Israel that has forced half a million people into underground holes for eight years and left Jewish children growing up with the trauma of fleeing and hiding throughout their young lives.” (Anne Bayefsky, “Shame On Bush And Condi,” Forbes, (January 9, 2009).

What is more surprising is that the Bush Administration abstained on the resolution even though it had earlier said it would not accept such a one-sided resolution, and a few years ago said it would not support resolutions that did not explicitly mention the name of the terrorist organizations responsible for violence against Israel.

As in the case of the Hezbollah War, the UN has stepped in to prevent Israel from exercising its legal right, and moral obligation to defend its citizens. If Israel prematurely accepts the resolution it is likely to end this war as it did the last, with its enemies able to claim victory and the Hamas leadership and arsenal sufficiently intact to resume its terror campaign in the future.