Monday, August 28, 2023

Human Rights Watch issued a new front-page press release today to attack its favorite target, Israel:

The Israeli military and border police forces are killing Palestinian children with virtually no recourse for accountability.

Last year, 2022, was the deadliest year for Palestinian children in the West Bank in 15 years, and 2023 is on track to meet or exceed 2022 levels. Israeli forces had killed at least 34 Palestinian children in the West Bank as of August 22. Human Rights Watch investigated four fatal shootings of Palestinian children by Israeli forces between November 2022 and March 2023.
We've seen this approach before. HRW describes scores of potential Israeli crimes, but chooses to "investigate" only a small number of them. 

By sheer coincidence, the ones they are "investigating" are the ones that seem the most likely to be innocent victims. 

In other words, HRW knows quite well that the vast majority of "children" killed by Israeli forces are legal combatants - teens who are acting as spotters, or hurling firebombs or IEDs, or even shooting weapons themselves. The majority are child soldiers. They are recruited by terror groups, violating accepted international law.

But HRW doesn't want to say anything bad about Hamas or Islamic Jihad. Their reports are meant to be anti-Israel, so they cherry-pick the specific incidents that seem to imply Israeli malfeasance.

Yet even in this constricted, biased choice of trying to stack the deck against Israel, they rely on lies and don't tell you the whole story.

Their "star" is Mahmoud al-Sadi, 17, who "according to witnesses" was hundreds of meters from any fighting when he was shot and he wasn't holding any weapons. 

To emphasize his alleged innocence, HRW gives a photo montage of al-Sadi being a teenage boy.

They missed this one:

Does it make sense that well-trained soldiers would shoot hundreds of meters away from the fighting for no reason? HRW seems to think so, but Palestinian witnesses are notoriously unreliable (even according to NGOs) and they will say what their leaders want them to say. Very few ever admit that the "innocent child" is not so innocent. 

Other cases that HRW think are a slam dunk are anything but. Even the NGO admits that they were all involved in active fighting.

In the other cases investigated, the security forces killed boys after they had joined other youths confronting Israeli forces with stones, Molotov cocktails, or fireworks. While these projectiles can seriously injure or kill, in these cases, Israeli forces fired repeatedly at chest-level, hitting multiple children, and killed children in situations where they do not appear to have been posing a threat of grievous injury or death, which is the standard for the use of lethal force by law enforcement officers under international norms. That would make these killings unlawful.
HRW admits that the "children" were actively engaged in fighting. 

HRW claims that Israel must adhere to the standards of "law enforcement" in these situations, when the "criminals" are heavily armed fighters whose aim is to destroy Israel. It is true that the line isn't clear between what is legally considered a law enforcement situation and what is governed by the laws of armed conflict (LOAC) but to breezily decide that these situations where armored vehicles and scores of soldiers are needed is "law enforcement" is, at the very least, an oversimplification.

The ICRC says "An armed conflict arises whenever there is fighting between States or protracted armed violence between government authorities and organized armed groups or just between organized armed groups."

Sure sounds more like an armed conflict than a law enforcement operation, especially since Islamic Jihad and Hamas have been bragging that they really control, organize and fund these seemingly local armed groups.

Of course, if the laws of armed conflict apply, then any fighter - no matter what age - is a legitimate target. So HRW doesn't want you to even consider that possibility.

But let's look at the innocent children HRW lists:

Here is video from a proud relative (starting at 0:12) showing Wadia Abu Ramuz shooting fireworks at Israeli troops. 

Mohammed al-Sleem, 17, was a member of the Al Aqsa Brigades and also shot incendiary devices at soldiers. 

We've previously discussed Adam Ayyad, 15. He went into battle intending to die and left a "will" in his pocket saying how happy he was to be about to be martyred.  He was a member of the PFLP and buried wearing a PFLP flag.

These aren't innocent children by any definition. But HRW is trying to hide the truth.

Moreover, the number of children who are admitted members of armed groups prove that there is a real human rights concern here - that of recruiting child soldiers - and HRW has, as far as I can tell, not once said a word against the PFLP, Hamas or Islamic Jihad for that reprehensible practice of using children as bait meant to be killed. 

HRW's dishonesty is clear to all, and they are playing their role to put a respectable face on modern antisemitism to the hilt. and even when they clearly know that dozens of the children killed were members of armed groups, they don't say a word of condemnation.

That's only for Israel. 

(h/t Adin Haykin)

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 19 years and 40,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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