UN Comments on the Murder of Innocents: Itamar and Duma

The Middle East is unfortunately no stranger to attacks on innocent people. In July 2015, an arson attack on the home of Palestinian Arabs in the town of Duma killed an 18-month old baby. Just 15 miles away, in the town of Itamar, two Palestinian Arabs stabbed to death five members of a Jewish family in their beds in March 2011.

The taking of innocent lives is a terrible thing. It is also sad to watch completely different reactions from world bodies to the two events. Here is the UN news release of the 2011 deliberate murders of five Israeli Jews and the news release of July 2015 on the arson attack that claimed one Palestinian Arab. A short comparison:

Deliberate Murder of 5 Israeli Jews Arson Attack which Claimed Life of 1 Palestinian Arab
Words in article 220 422
Attack called “terrorism” None Three times
Blame placed Not placed on Arabs or Muslims Placed on “Jewish extremists
Other Attacks Mentioned No mention of repeated attacks by Palestinians on Israelis Discussed “repeated acts of settler violence
Comment on leadership Welcomes the strong condemnation… by President Abbas No welcome of condemnation by Netanyahu. Blamed Netanyahu for variety of items including demolishing Palestinian homes and settlement policy.
Cause for Attack Not discussed Blamed on “Israel’s illegal settlement policy


The continued disproportionate attacks by the United Nations on only one party in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will marginalize the UN as a factor in arriving at a long-term solution in the region.

Ban Ki Moon
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon
(photo: AP/Gary Cameron)


Text of UN March 2011: “12 March 2011 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the United Nations diplomatic partners in the search for peace in the Middle East today condemned the shocking murder of an Israeli family of five, including three children, in a West Bank settlement overnight and called for the prosecution of the perpetrators of the crime.

Mr. Ban also urged all concerned to act with restraint.

The diplomatic Quartet of the UN, European Union, Russia and United States, which seeks a two-State solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, condemned the killings “in the strongest possible terms.”

“The Quartet offers their condolences to the loved ones of the victims and to the Israeli people. Attacks on any civilians are completely unacceptable in any circumstance,” the Quartet said in a statement.

“The Quartet calls on those responsible to be brought to justice and welcomes the strong condemnation of this attack by [Palestinian] President [Mahmoud] Abbas and the Palestinian leadership.”

It stressed the need to expedite efforts to achieve Israeli-Palestinian and comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace.

Media reports said the killings occurred in the settlement of Itamar, near the city of near Nablus. The victims were reportedly stabbed to death by an intruder who broke into their home.

The Israeli army radio said the killer had spared two other children, and that the murder was discovered by another one when she came home.”

Text of UN July 2015: “31 July 2015 – United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the UN special envoy on the Middle East have strongly condemned today’s arson attack in the West Bank that killed a Palestinian child and left the child’s parents severely injured.

The Secretary-General strongly condemns today’s murder of a Palestinian child in the West Bank and calls for the perpetrators of this terrorist act to be promptly brought to justice,” reads a statement issued by his spokesperson in New York.

Continued failures to effectively address impunity for repeated acts of settler violence have led to another horrific incident involving the death of an innocent life, adds the statement. “This must end.”

The absence of a political process and Israel’s illegal settlement policy, as well as the harsh and unnecessary practice of demolishing Palestinian houses, have given rise to violent extremism on both sides, the statement continues.

“This [situation] presents a further threat to the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people for statehood, as well as to the security of the people of Israel. The Secretary-General urges both sides to take bold steps to return to the path of peace.”

Mr. Ban reiterates his call on all parties to ensure that tensions do not escalate further, leading to more loss of life, the statement concludes.

Earlier today, the United Nations special envoy on the Middle East today expressed his outrage over what he called a “heinous murder” and a “terrorist crime.”

“I am outraged by today’s vicious arson attack by suspected Jewish extremists in the Occupied West Bank village of Duma, near Nablus, which killed Palestinian toddler Ali, critically injured his mother and father, and injured his four-year old sibling,” the Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nickolay Mladenov, said.

Joining in the “strong condemnations” issued by Israeli and Palestinian Governments and political leaders, the Special Coordinator also called for a “full and prompt investigation” to bring the perpetrators to justice.

“This heinous murder was carried out for a political objective. We must not permit such acts to allow hate and violence to bring more personal tragedies and to bury any prospect of peace. This reinforces the need for an immediate resolution of the conflict and an end to the occupation.”

Later today, the Security Council issued a statement to the press, condemning “in the strongest terms” the “vicious terrorist attack,” and underlining the need to bring the perpetrators of this “deplorable act” to justice.

Council members encouraged all sides to work to lower tension, reject violence, avoid all provocations, and seek a path toward peace.”

Related FirstOneThrough articles:

The United Nations Audit of Israel

Double Standards: Assassinations

Every Picture Tells a Story: The Invisible Murdered Israelis

The Legal Israeli Settlements

The Death of Civilians; the Three Shades of Sorrow

Eyal Gilad Naftali Klinghoffer. The new Blood Libel.

Cause and Effect: Making Gaza

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17 thoughts on “UN Comments on the Murder of Innocents: Itamar and Duma

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  4. Good comparison. One more element. In 2011 Arab attack, “Mr. Ban also urged all concerned to act with restraint,” meaning Israel should not respond. Did Mr. Ban urge Arabs to act with restraint now?


  5. Excellent comparison. The UN has proved itself time and again to hold Israel to a standard not held to anyone else in the world; while holding the Palestinian Leadership to NONE whatsoever.

    This is beyond simple double standards though. Considering the amount of terror and incitement on the part of the Palestinians, the celebration of acts of terror, the glorifying of mass murderers as societal exemplars; the consistent condemnations of ONLY Israel indicate an Obsessive Compulsive sickness on behalf of the UN and many others.


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