Tuesday, July 07, 2015

  • Tuesday, July 07, 2015
  • Elder of Ziyon
The NYT reports that more civilians have now been killed in Yemen this year than were killed last year in Gaza, even according to the UN's inflated Gaza figures:

Yet Human Rights Watch and Amnesty, which flatly and repeatedly declared Israel's actions in Gaza last year to be violations of the laws of war, are still reluctant to say the same about Saudi Arabia.

I've previously shown comparisons of how HRW described Israel in much harsher and categorical terms when reporting on airstrikes then they did for Saudi Arabia. But even this past week, HRW and Amnesty continued to put caveats around calling Saudi actions illegal.

HRW:
While many coalition airstrikes were directed at legitimate military targets in the city, Human Rights Watch identified several attacks that appeared to violate international humanitarian law, also known as the laws of war, and resulted in numerous civilian deaths and injuries.

Coalition attacks struck at least six residential houses not being used for military purposes. One attack killed 27 members of a single family, including 17 children. The airstrikes also hit at least five markets for which there was no evidence of military activity. Aerial attacks on an empty school and a crowded petrol station appear also to have violated the laws of war.
Amnesty:
These eight cases investigated by Amnesty International must be independently and impartially investigated as possible disproportionate or indiscriminate attacks. The findings of any investigation must be made public, and those suspected of responsibility for serious violations of the laws of war must be brought to justice in fair trials.
On the other hand, Amnesty declared after only a couple of weeks of the Gaza war that Israel was guilty of "serious violations of international humanitarian law [and] serious human rights abuses" as it called on the US and other countries to suspend all shipments of weapons to Israel.

In both Yemen and Gaza, these NGOs do not have access to information from the army commanders have, and that information si essential to knowing whether there were violations of the laws of armed conflict. When Amnesty and HRW flatly declare Israel violated those laws, they are lying. But when Saudi Arabia acts with less precision, less care and more lethality, suddenly these organizations are sticklers for accuracy.

It really is a sickening double standard.

(h/t Yoel)



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