update deskIsrael at War

Israeli refugees slam United Nations for silence

While displaced Israelis are ignored, a multitude of United Nations agencies are working to support Palestinians in Gaza.

Resident of the Galilee city of Kiryat Shmona are evacuated due to the attacks from Lebanon, Oct. 22, 2023. Photo by Ayal Margolin/Flash90.
Resident of the Galilee city of Kiryat Shmona are evacuated due to the attacks from Lebanon, Oct. 22, 2023. Photo by Ayal Margolin/Flash90.

Two hundred fifty Israeli families displaced by the war with Hamas on Monday accused the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees of ignoring their plight, writing in a letter to Geneva that the agency has not offered them any assistance because they are Jews.

“Nothing has been done to fulfill the UNHCR’s principle of ‘leaving no-one behind’ or ‘build[ing] effective approaches to resilience’ and recovery for Israeli IDPs (internally displaced individuals) who bore witness to Hamas atrocities,” read the missive, an initiative of Shurat HaDin-Israel Law Center.

While Israeli refugees are effectively forgotten, a multitude of U.N. agencies are working to support Palestinian refugees in the Gaza Strip, noted the families.

“Such a distinction is completely unacceptable and disregards those who have lost everything to Hamas terror and face an uncertain future,” they charged, adding, “We can only draw the damning conclusion that you are ignoring the circumstances, danger and trauma of the Israelis because they are Jews and not Muslim Gazans.”

Some 250,000 Israelis have been displaced since Hamas launched its attack on southern Israel four weeks ago, amounting to 2.55% of the Jewish state’s population.

“Hamas has created two humanitarian crises and we demand that the U.N. provide every displaced Israeli with proper shelter, food, clothing and medical care,” said Shurat HaDin President Nitsana Darshan-Leitner.

“The U.N.’s complete disregard of these hurting individuals is not just wrong, it’s not just failing to fulfill their purpose, it’s not even just acting in a biased way—it is stabbing the survivors in their backs. Shame on the UNHRC who are helping everyone else but the Jews,” she said.

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