WASHINGTON, Aug. 21, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The European Centre for Law & Justice (ECLJ) – the international affiliate of the American Center for Law & Justice (ACLJ) – today called on the Secretary-General of the United Nations to conduct an independent investigation to determine why UN facilities in Gaza were used to support Hamas operatives in their attacks on Israel. It has been widely reported that Hamas terrorist rockets were unlawfully stored in United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) facilities.
"The law-abiding member nations of the UN deserve the facts – deserve the truth – about why Hamas was permitted to use UN facilities in its unlawful attacks on Israel," said Jay Sekulow, who serves as Chief Counsel of the ECLJ as well as the ACLJ. "The very reputation and legitimacy of the UN and its various arms and agencies are at stake, especially since Hamas is widely recognized as a terrorist organization. What's worse – the return to Hamas of the rockets unlawfully stored in UNRWA facilities strongly suggests that UNRWA employees may be acting in concert and/or cooperating with Hamas operatives in unlawfully attacking a UN member state. That cannot be tolerated and may, in fact, constitute a war crime. At a minimum, it places in question the legitimacy and impartiality of all UNRWA operations in Gaza."
In a letter to U.N. Secretary-General H.E. Ban Ki-Moon, the ECLJ calls for the appointment of a Commission of Inquiry – an independent panel of international stature and unquestioned integrity to investigate how the Hamas rockets ended up in those facilities, who was responsible, and why the weapons were returned to the terrorists.
The ECLJ calls on the Secretary-General to establish the investigatory commission without delay.
"Until such an investigation takes place and effective measures are put in place to preclude future violations of UNRWA's protected status, the impartiality of UNRWA will remain in question, and Israeli doubts about the sanctity of UNRWA facilities will be fully justified," the ECLJ contends. "If UN facilities wish to enjoy the protection of international law, they must comply fully with the requirements of international law and be used solely for non-military purposes."
The ECLJ is an international, Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), dedicated to the promotion and protection of human rights and to the furtherance of the rule of law in international affairs. The ECLJ has held Special Consultative Status before the United Nations/ECOSOC since 2007.
Led by ECLJ Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow, the European Centre for Law & Justice (ECLJ) is based in Strasbourg, France. The ECLJ is an international affiliate of the American Center for Law and Justice, which is headquartered in Washington, D.C. and online at aclj.org.
For Print: Gene Kapp (757) 575-9520
For Broadcast: Alison Geist or Anna Hutsell (770) 813-0000
SOURCE American Center for Law and Justice