Tuesday, July 27, 2021

  • Tuesday, July 27, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon
Human Rights Watch continues its obsession with Israel in its latest report accusing Israel of "apparent" war crimes in Gaza.

The report is based on incomplete information and assumptions that the IDF just targets innocent families for no reason.

It looks in detail at three incidents, and ignores any information that contradicts its assumptions that Israel is of course targeting civilians.

The first incident is the bombing near the Al Masry house in Beit Hanoun:

Shortly after 6 p.m. on May 10, a guided missile struck near the town of Beit Hanoun and killed 8 people, including 6 children, all apparently civilians, and reportedly injured 18. The missile exploded about a meter above the ground, 10 meters from the closest of four houses built next to each other and owned by four brothers of the al-Masri family – Arafat, Ibrahim, Mohammed Attallah, and Youssef – who lived there with their families. The houses are located about a kilometer to the east of Beit Hanoun in the northeastern corner of Gaza.
How does HRW know it is a "guided" missile and not a Hamas rocket? Initial reports on May 10 said it was very possible it was a Gaza rocket that fell short, and even Palestinian human rights groups admit that there were lots of Gaza rockets being shot at the time.

HRW interviewed family member who all said that the rocket came from the "east" in the direction of Nahal Oz. It is highly likely that they were told by Hamas to not give any indication that the rockets came from Gaza - and Israeli missile are shot from the air, not the ground. They also "testified" that the rocket exploded a meter above the ground, something that is literally impossible to see at those speeds. 

Their "testimony" is to say what they are supposed to say in order not to get in trouble with their leaders.

HRW claims to have done some expert analysis:

Human Rights Watch analyzed photographs of munition remnants taken by another human rights organization that Human Rights Watch independently confirmed were taken the morning of May 11 at the location, as well as video footage filmed in the immediate aftermath of the attack that Human Rights Watch determined was authentic.

The limited blast and fragmentation damage at the scene suggests the use of a munition with a small explosive yield. The lack of an impact crater suggests the munition detonated in mid-air. Remnants of the munition photographed on the morning of May 11 indicate that the weapon used was a type of guided missile used to attack armored vehicles, fortified positions, or personnel in the open.
Then how did eight people get killed - according to reports, even their body parts blown apart - if it was an anti-personnel munition with a small blast radius? Who are HRW's experts that identified the munition? 

The Israeli military has not provided information that would justify the attack. An investigation of the attack should consider whether Israeli forces targeted a military objective, and, if there was a legitimate military objective, whether all feasible precautions were taken to minimize civilian harm, and whether the expected military gain outweighed the anticipated loss of civilian life. An attack that was unlawful and was carried out with criminal intent – deliberately or recklessly – would be a war crime.

Except that Israel didn't attack the al-Masry home. Israel admits its attacks, even if they are mistakes - if it denies one, there is a reason for it.  The Meir Amit Center, which is close to the IDF, flatly says this was a Gaza rocket. 

HRW notes that Israel said that one of those killed, Mohammed Ali Mohammed Nusseir, was a terrorist, although Israel never said that it shot the rocket that killed him. It seems to be coincidence. Yet HRW says, "None of Gaza’s armed groups referred on their websites to any of those killed as members, which is their standard practice when a fighter is killed."

Really? Because here is his martyr's posters from the Fatah Martyr Atiya al-Za’anin's Facebook page where he is referred to as a "hero martyr":

Again,  it doesn't appear that Israel targeted him, but this shows that HRW simply will not research anything that contradicts its pre-existing biases.

The second incident that HRW investigates is the airstrike at the Al Shati camp. Israel says it was targeting a Hamas apartment, HRW cannot find any evidence that Hamas was there - therefore, HRW must be right and Israeli intelligence wrong. 

Even though even Hamas admits that it places its military targets in the middle of civilian areas.  Even though neighbors will never admit that fact because it could cause them to be put into prison. HRW doesn't mention that - because the point of this report is to damn Israel, not investigate the facts.

The third incident from HRW is almost comical - the bombing of the tunnels under Al Wehda Street.

Human Rights Watch did not find any evidence of a military target at or near the site of the airstrikes, including tunnels or an underground command center under al-Wahda street or buildings nearby.
So, if we are to believe Human Rights Watch, Israel just randomly dropped 1,000-kilogram GBU-31 series air-dropped bombs along a straight line on the street with no intelligence indicating there were tunnels underneath.

Even Hamas didn't claim that there was no bunker or tunnels under that street. On the contrary, they mocked Israel by saying that they have far more tunnels that Israel didn't touch!

HRW doesn't mention Hamas admitting placing military objects among civilians. It doesn't mention Hamas claims to have 500 kilometers of tunnels under Gaza. It doesn't mention that at the end of Al Wehda street is the Al Shifa hospital that houses a Hamas headquarters, and is almost certainly part of the tunnel system. HRW doesn't even mention Israel's explanation for the building collapse: that when the tunnel under the building collapsed, the foundations of the building were unexpectedly damaged as well.

HRW ends off with this about the collapse of the building:
 An attack that was unlawful and was carried out with criminal intent – deliberately or recklessly – would be a war crime.
And if Ken Roth raped and killed a baby two weeks ago he would be a depraved criminal - but he probably didn't, so saying that statement would be nothing but incitement. Even floating the idea that Israel purposefully destroyed a civilian building with criminal intent shows that HRW has zero credibility. If the IDF wanted to kill civilians, then it did a very poor jobindeed.

Which proves that this entire HRW report is nothing but incitement, designed to make the world hate Israel.. It shows that HRW knows nothing about international law, which says that a reasonable military commander can act based on the best information he or she has in order to determine whether a valid military target is valuable compared to the anticipated collateral damage. It is not up to non-experts who already have a hatred of Israel to make that determination weeks afterwards.

One other point: HRW's researchers in Gaza are almost certainly Gazans themselves. Hamas knows they work for HRW. If they would issue a report saying that Israel is innocent of crimes, what do you think Hamas would do to them?:

This report is a joke, as is everything Human Rights Watch releases about Israel. 


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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

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