U.S. Senators wrote two letters condemning the actions of United Nations agencies and passed a resolution in support of Israel.
On July 31, 35 senators, including Maryland Sens. Ben Cardin and Barbara Mikulski, wrote to U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon expressing disappointment in the Human Rights Council’s inquiry into Israel’s actions during the conflict.
“The fact that there was no call for an investigation into actions by Hamas – including indiscriminate and deliberate rocket attacks on Israeli civilians and intentionally putting Palestinians in harm’s way – is clearly irresponsible,” the letter said.
The letter called out U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay for saying Israel’s actions could amount to war crimes without acknowledging “violations of international humanitarian law by Hamas for recklessly endangering the safety of Palestinian men, women and children.”
In a separate letter written to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Aug. 5, Cardin and U.S. Senators Mark Kirk and Marco Rubio urged the State Department to launch an investigation into the incidents in which rockets were found at United Nations Refugee and Works Agency (UNRWA) schools.
UNRWA admitted to finding rockets belonging to Hamas in its schools and condemned these incidents and said they were turned over to local authorities or have gone missing. Cardin, Kirk and Rubio, the letter said, are concerned this could mean Hamas has the rockets again.
“As you know, the United States is the largest donor to UNRWA and has contributed almost $5 billion to the organization since 1950,” the letter said. “The United States taxpayers deserve to know if UNRWA is fulfilling its mission or taking side in this tragic conflict.”
The U.S. Senate also passed a resolution “supporting Israel’s right to defend itself against Hamas,” which Cardin co-sponsored, on July 29.
The resolution called attention to Israel’s efforts to protect Palestinian civilians while it works to destroy tunnels, Hamas’ terrorist designation, rocket attacks and use of civilians as human shields and Israel’s Iron Dome protecting civilians and reducing casualties. The resolution condemned Hamas’ actions and the U.N. Human Rights Council’s resolution to investigate Israel and supported Israel’s right to defend itself, U.S. efforts to broker a cease-fire and additional funding to replenish Iron Dome missiles.