“Hamas perpetrated this conflict. They wantonly fire rockets into Israel, and they don’t care who they hit.”
“Hamas has fired over 2,500 rockets into Israel during this 3-week conflict. In fact, on the very day the UN Human Rights Council exonerated Hamas, Hamas fired dozens of rockets into Israel. And these aren’t firecrackers. These rockets are very violent, powerful weapons.”
“We condemn Hamas and its terrorism – not only against Israel, but its own people.”
Washington, DC – Nevada Senator Harry Reid joined Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell to introduce a resolution condemning the United Nations Human Rights Council for its vote on a highly controversial resolution accusing Israel of human rights violations. Senator Reid delivered the following remarks on the Senate floor Tuesday evening. Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery:
Throughout my career in Congress, I’ve always supported the United Nations. But I was disgusted by what I witnessed last week, as the UN’s Human Rights Council in Geneva voted to adopt a highly controversial resolution accusing Israel of human rights violations in the ongoing Gaza conflict. The resolution was so incredibly one-sided in its anti-Israel bias, that it makes zero mention of Hamas and the atrocities Hamas has committed by indiscriminately barraging Israel with rockets and using Palestinian civilians as human shields. Hamas perpetrated this conflict. They wantonly fire rockets into Israel, and they don’t care who they hit.
Hamas has fired over 2,500 rockets into Israel during this 3-week conflict. In fact, on the very day the UN Human Rights Council exonerated Hamas, Hamas fired dozens of rockets into Israel. And these aren’t firecrackers. These rockets are very violent, powerful weapons. They have a number of rockets, like the Chinese WS-1E. It’s a rocket that carries 40 pounds of explosives and travel up to 30 miles. Hamas also has the FAJR-5, an Iranian rocket. It’s Hamas’ most prestigious weapon, and carries 400 pounds of explosives and travels about 55 miles. They have a Syrian rocket, the Khaibar M-302. But the rocket they use the most is the Qassam, which they make right in Gaza. These are all professionally-engineered rockets. Some have been smuggled into the Gaza Strip from Iran and other countries. These rockets are serious weapons of war.
Hamas also continues to try to construct and use its sophisticated tunnels into Israel, which, as one member of Hamas recently bragged, allows Hamas fighters to invade Israel. Hamas’ responsibility in the Gaza clash is a fact, but the UN Human Rights Council didn’t even make a single mention of the terrorist organization.
But perhaps the most troubling aspect of this anti-Israel vote is that of all the delegations, the U.S. was the only country brave enough to vote against this sham. And who are these other nations that voted to condemn Israel? How about Cuba, China, Venezuela, and Vietnam. I wonder how the UN feels about those countries’ human rights records. How many of those same nations who condemned Israel would allow their own citizens to suffer through endless rocket fire?
We all lament the suffering and loss of life. It is heart-wrenching. But what is Israel to do as rocket after rocket after rocket after rocket plunges into its territory?
We condemn Hamas and its terrorism – not only against Israel, but its own people. I was watching the News Hour, and they had commentary section from David Brooks and Mark Shields. David Brooks aptly noted that what Hamas is doing represents “a rare moment in military history where a party rejects a cease-fire in order to get more of their own people killed.” And that is what is happening; Hamas is saying ‘kill some more of our people.’
So today, I join my friend, the Republican Leader, in doing what other nations refused to do – we condemn the UN Human Rights Council’s biased resolution. As a life-long supporter of the United Nations, I say this resolution is disgusting.
We support a lasting peace, which can only be realized through the demilitarization of Gaza. In offering the resolution before the Senate, we stand with Israel, and its right to defend itself, its security and most importantly, its people.