(Carl) Well, isn’t this amazing? ‘Human rights watch’ has finally figured out that Hamas and other ‘Palestinian’ terror groups committed war crimes by shooting rockets from civilian areas in Gaza to civilian areas in Israel during Operation Pillar of Defense.
“Palestinian armed groups made clear in their statements that harming civilians was their aim,” said HRW’s Middle East director Sarah Leah Whitson. “There is simply no legal justification for launching rockets at populated areas.”
The group also found that Gazan groups, including Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and the Popular Resistance Committee, justified targeting civilian centers as reprisal for Israeli strikes, an act also banned under international law.
Furthermore, such groups “repeatedly fired rockets from densely populated areas, near homes, businesses, and a hotel, unnecessarily placing civilians in the vicinity at grave risk from Israeli counter-fire,” the report said.
The detailed report included examples of rockets being launched from densely populated areas in Gaza, and noted that groups fired from underground tunnels with hatches for the first time. HRW faulted Palestinian armed groups for failing to alert civilians or urge them to evacuate prior to launching rockets in their vicinity.
As the ruling power in the Strip, the human rights group said, Hamas was responsible for reining in the behavior of other groups.
“As the ruling authority in Gaza, Hamas has an obligation to stop unlawful attacks and punish those responsible,” Whitson said.
But lest you get your hopes up for a Goldstone or other style of inquiry into these human rights violations….
A week earlier, HRW reported that Israeli attacks on journalists and media facilities during the operation also violated laws of war, saying that Israel provided no specific information to justify claims that they were military targets.
“Just because Israel says a journalist was a fighter or a TV station was a command center does not make it so,” Whitson said. “Journalists who praise Hamas and TV stations that applaud attacks on Israel may be propagandists, but that does not make them legitimate targets under the laws of war.”
Well yeah, except that Israel did provide evidence, and Hamas’ al-Aqsa television is a designated terror organization.