PRESS RELEASE

GENEVA, Oct. 18 – A Geneva-based watchdog group called on UN chief Ban Ki-moon to clarify remarks made today that seemed to draw a moral equivalence between the imprisonment of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit and Hamas terrorists.

“I am very encouraged by the prisoner exchange today after many many years of negotiation,” Secretary-General Ban told Reuters today. “The United Nations has been calling for (an end to) the unacceptable detention of Gilad Shalit and also the release of all Palestinians whose human rights have been abused all the time.”

“Mr. Ban needs to clarify whether, as it appears, he was referring to the Palestinians who committed such gruesome crimes as the bombing of Jerusalem’s Sbarro pizzeria that killed 15, the bombing of a Tel Aviv nightclub that killed 21, and the bombing of Netanya’s Park Hotel that killed 29 people attending a Passover Seder,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch.

“We call on Mr. Ban to recognize that those who masterminded and carried out terrorist attacks against women and children are despicable criminals, not innocent victims, and that their detention is a moral and security obligation rather than a so-called violation of human rights,” said Neuer.

“The UN was founded on moral clarity, and its highest officials should know better than to engage in false moral equivalence. They should instead be condeming all of those today who obscenely celebrated cold-blooded murderers as heroes.”

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