Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
Back to Opinion

WATCH: PLO Envoy Calls Hamas Rockets ‘Crimes Against Humanity’


Here’s a remarkable bit of television — official Palestinian Authority TV, to be specific — in which the Palestinian delegate to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva tells an interviewer that Hamas’s rocket fire from Gaza is a crime against humanity. Plain and simple, no hedging. In Arabic (with English subtitles). Watch it below.

The envoy, Ibrahim Khreisheh, is replying to a question from anchorwoman Nisrin Nasir about the prospects of bringing charges against Israel before the International Criminal Court for its aerial attacks in Gaza. His answer: I’m not running for office, so I’ll give an unpopular but honest answer: It would backfire. Rockets aimed at Israeli civilians are crimes against humanity. Every rocket, individually, whether or not it hits anybody.

He says Israel’s bombardment also constitutes a crime against humanity. A few minutes later, however, he says that Palestinians in Gaza are reporting getting warnings from Israel to clear out before an airstrike. That means, he says, that any fatalities resulting from the airstrikes are accidental, not criminal.

Here’s the video:


Two big takeaways from this video:

1.) The Israeli bombing campaign now underway in Gaza is not the monstrous violation of human rights critics claim. It is, rather, a defensive action against human rights abuses. If you don’t believe Israel’s spokesmen, take it from the Palestinian Authority’s own human rights guy.

2.) There are reasonable voices among the Palestinian Authority leadership who take a balanced view and share it with their own people, in Arabic. If you don’t believe me, take it from Memri, the staunchly conservative Middle East Media Research Institute, which rarely has a kind word to say about Palestinian officialdom, but caught this video and posted it.

Big hat tip to Memri for catching it and posting it, and to Maariv for getting it out. I’ve had my criticisms of Memri in the past for what I’ve regarded as selectively posting only the bad stuff, but this is indisputably essential viewing for both of the above reasons. By the way, my Arabic stinks, but it’s good enough to follow the subtitles and assure you that they’re accurate.

A message from our editor-in-chief Jodi Rudoren

We're building on 127 years of independent journalism to help you develop deeper connections to what it means to be Jewish today.

With so much at stake for the Jewish people right now — war, rising antisemitism, a high-stakes U.S. presidential election — American Jews depend on the Forward's perspective, integrity and courage.

—  Jodi Rudoren, Editor-in-Chief 

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.