Middle East

Aug 4, 2014

Why the UN should send peacekeepers into Gaza

The UN has consistently declined to intervene in Gaza because Palestine is not a state and Gaza is a non-government terrorist organisation. But that is not good enough -- peacekeepers are needed to keep civilians safe, on both sides, writes military ethicist Matthew Beard.

“Clearly it is not a situation for United Nations Peacekeeping Operations,” said United Nations Under-Secretary General for Peackeeping Herve Ladsous when asked recently about the escalating humanitarian crisis in Gaza. His reasoning was because — as is always the sticking point — Palestine is not a state, and Hamas is a terrorist non-state actor.

This complication, however, is not sufficient to remove the responsibilities of the global community to take action to prevent the growing death toll in Gaza. Alongside genuine terrorists, Palestinian civilians — including children — are dying; Israeli soldiers — many of whom are, however you might feel about the justice of their cause, simply obeying orders and doing what they believe to be their duty — are dying.

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6 thoughts on “Why the UN should send peacekeepers into Gaza

  1. Gavin Moodie

    Hamas is not a terrorist organisation: its military wing Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades is classified as a terrorist organisation. See ASIO’s assessment of the Brigades in ‘Australian national security’ on the web:

    ‘Hamas is a militant Sunni Islamist organisation and political party founded in 1987 in the Palestinian Territories during the first Intifada uprising. Hamas began as a branch of, and retains an ideological affinity with, the Muslim Brotherhood. Like its parent, Hamas is a multifaceted, well organised and relatively moderate organisation renowned for its extensive social service networks in the Palestinian Territories. Since winning a majority of seats in the Palestinian general legislative elections in 2006, and gaining control of Gaza by force in 2007, Hamas has been responsible for the administration and provision of government services including health, education and security to Gaza’s inhabitants.

    ‘The Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades were officially established in 1991 to provide Hamas with a military capability. Originally, the Brigades were organized secretively, comprising compartmentalized cells that specialized in terrorist attacks, assassinations and kidnappings inside Israel. Since Hamas gained control of Gaza in 2007 and took up a governing role, the Brigades have been forced to develop, at least partially, into a more traditional military force. The Brigades operate predominantly in Gaza, with limited representation in the West Bank.’

  2. Kevin Herbert

    Gavin Moodie:

    100% right re Hamas NOT being classified as a terrorist organisation.

    One has to admit that by repeating this Israeli/US/Australian Governments’ purposeful lie, Mathew Beard severely compromises his credibility.

    Repeating such malicious propaganda is a serious matter, and reflects sloppy research at best.

  3. David Schulberg

    It’s bad enough having UNRWA running the pro-Palestinian propaganda show. More one-sided Israel bashers on the ground won’t solve anything. Hamas would just exploit them as human shields.

  4. Kevin Herbert

    David Schulberg

    so you’re repeating Israeli talkingh points re human shields…that went out the window a long time ago..no-one believes that crap anymore.

    After all, the world now has a copy of your 2009 talking points, the treacherous 2009 Global Language Dictionary:


    What a depraved hypocrisy you represent.

  5. David Schulberg

    @Kevin, during the 2006 Lebanon war “Hezbollah forces fired rockets from as little as 30-40m from UNIFIL bases, seeking to avoid Israeli counter-fire, and had sought refuge in UNIFIL bases on occasion. UNIFIL maintained that Hezbollah fighters were not allowed into any of its bases. However, they reported more than 20 instances of rockets being fired from less than 500m from their positions, as well as a number of cases of small arms and mortar fire from within 100m.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_incidents_during_the_2006_Lebanon_War)
    Ergo my remarks that the UN should stay out of it.

  6. Kevin Herbert

    Yes David……more ZIONazi babble babble blah blah.

    Your puerile, morally offensive attempt at rationalising the shelling of Gazan civilians necessarily fails…. yet again.

    Read the related UN Declaration re civilians in war zones, and you’ll see why…although given your image as that of a racist bigot, I doubt you’ll bother.

    I’m too busy organising my apartment building’s support for BDS against Isra-hell, to worry about your fatuous claims.

    FYI, the 4 apartment buildings near ours have a total of 300 plus dwellings, and we expect the vast majority of those will support BDS. Our local supermarket & Optus are going to start feeling the effects very soon, asnd you can expect that this trend will continue right across Australia & New Zealand.

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