Palestinians Committed War Crimes

On Thursday, Human Rights Watch (HRW) started to expand on its earlier report into the 11-day conflict between Israel and Palestinian terrorists in May this year. Surprisingly, HRW’s latest report stated clearly that Palestinian armed groups’ rocket and mortar attacks during the conflict violated the laws of war and amount to war crimes.

Eric Goldstein, acting Middle East and North Africa director at HRW said:

“Palestinian armed groups during the May fighting flagrantly violated the laws-of-war
prohibition on indiscriminate attacks by launching thousands
of unguided rockets towards Israeli cities.”

Eric GoldsteinEric Goldstein - Acting Executive Director, Middle East and North Africa Division

Why is that a surprise?

Well, for years now HRW has been shown to be biased against Israel. More than a decade ago the organisation’s founder published an op-ed criticising it for straying from its original mission in favour of obsessively castigating Israel.

That view is supported by Honest Reporting, who carried out a thorough examination of HRW’s 27th July report on the conflict and found the entire foundation of it to be flawed.

So, this latest report is a significant break from HRW’s previous tendency to present Palestinian groups as justified in their response to Israel’s behaviour. Groups like Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad are clearly stated as guilty of war crimes against Israeli and Palestinian civilians.

Palestinian Civilian Deaths

Along with other news organisations, the BBC quickly picked-up on this latest HRW report, acknowledging what the Israelis have claimed all along, that Palestinian rockets and mortars which misfired killed and injured people in Gaza.

One specific misfire above the city of Jabalya is quoted, for which clear evidence was found that it killed seven civilians and injured 15. Israel was widely blamed for those deaths and injuries, as well as others that resulted from as many as 680 rockets and mortars fired by Hamas that fell inside the Gaza Strip.

Continued Distortions

Even so, this latest HRW publication accuses both Palestinian and Israeli authorities of having a long track record of failing to investigate alleged war crimes. While that may be true of the Palestinians, Israelis often go to great lengths to review the consequences of IDF actions.

Just a few weeks after the conflict, the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Centre published research that indicated at least 48 percent of Gazans killed were associated with terrorist groups. They investigated 234 of the people killed and found that 112 were associated with Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other terrorist groups.

A recent video report by i24 News presents some of the details of their investigation: