UN representative to Israelis: 'Why do you keep living on Gaza border?'
Batia Holin from Kibbutz Kfar Aza and Adele Raemer from Kibbutz Nirim appear in front of UN Human Rights Council commission to tell them about life under rocket threat, tunnels and arson terrorism; 'I realized how disconnected from reality the members of the commissions are,' says Holin.
A member of a UN Human Rights Council commission, which is investigating the events of recent months on the Israel-Gaza border, asked two Israelis living near the strip, "If that is the situation, why do you continue living there?"
Over the weekend, Batia Holin from Kibbutz Kfar Aza and Adele Raemer from Kibbutz Nirim accepted an invitation to speak in front of the UNHRC's Independent Commission of Inquiry for events on the 2018 Gaza border and tell its members of life under the threat of arson terrorism and rocket fire.
The committee chose them because of their activities on social media: they have been keeping track of the events on the border, posting photos and videos and mostly writing about the fires that broke out over the past eight months because of the kite and balloon terrorism.
The two said that despite being invited to speak in front of the UN commission in Geneva, they lowered their expectations, knowing the United Nations' pro-Palestinian bias.
They were still surprised, though, when after describing their life under the threat of rockets, tunnels, incendiary balloon and kites and the fires they cause, one of the commission's members he asked them why they continued living close to the border.
"When I was asked why I was staying in my home and not leaving because of the situation, I realized how disconnected from reality the members of the commissions are," Holin told Ynet. "They have no idea how we live here and what the Zionist idea is all about."
"We got to the commission with a presentation and a lot of material to demonstrate to the team there, which is headed by a jurist, what our life on the Gaza border looks like. We were supposed to each appear separately for an hour and a half, but we ended up speaking for four hours," Holin continued.
"I told them about our lives under the rocket threat, about the tunnels that were found, about the tire smoke that suffocates us from the protests every Friday. The commission members don't know Israel or the Gaza Strip. They've never visited here. I had to show them on a map how close my kibbutz is to the border and explain what that means," she went on to say.
"They asked me: 'How do you explain the fact that on one Friday during the protests, the IDF killed dozens of Palestinians who came near the border fence?' I told them those protesters, who are sent by Hamas, wanted to infiltrate my home to hurt us—so we have the legitimacy to defend ourselves," Holin concluded.