U.N. Council to Israeli Gaza Border Residents: Why Are You Living There?

YERUSHALAYIM -
Arab rioters on the Gaza-Israel border in Rafah, Gaza. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90, File)

Two Israeli residents of the Gaza border sarea had their expectations confirmed when they went to testify before the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva last week. “We realized how disconnected they are from our reality,” said Batya Holin, who along with Adel Ramer was invited to the Council, only to be asked why they remained in their homes. “They have no idea what is going on,” she told Yediot Acharonot.

The two, residents of Kibbutz Kfar Aza and Kibbutz Nirim respectively, were invited to the Council. They were apparently tracked down by Council officials due to their activity on social media, in which they posted photos and comments about life in the Gaza border area in the wake of ongoing Hamas attacks, including riots where tires are burned and thick smoke drifts over to Israel, and the kite and balloon terror attacks that have burned Israeli forests and farms.

The two described life in the shadow of those attacks, with officials at one point asking them, “If things are so bad, why do you remain there?” Holin told the newspaper. “We came with a slideshow and a great deal of material showing what we had to live with and why we remained where we were. We were supposed to speak to them for an hour and a half, but in the end they kept us there for four hours.”

Among the revelations that Council members were unaware of was the fact that the Israeli communities were just meters from the Gaza border, Holin said. “We told them about the fires, the balloons, the terror tunnels, the missiles, and the Friday riots. Members of the Council are not familiar with either Israel or Gaza; they have never visited here. I had to show them on the map just how close we were to the action. They asked me how I explained the fact that on one Friday the IDF killed numerous Palestinians who came close to the border fence. I told them that these were Hamas agents who were trying to sneak into Israel in order to harm us, so it was legitimate for us to defend ourselves – another concept the Council members were unaware of,” she added.