Human Rights Watch slams Hamas in Gaza

During the recent war between Hamas and Israel, the Gaza-based terrorist organisation is said to have indiscriminately targeted civilians

by The Commentator on 24 December 2012 21:39

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In a damning report today, 'Human Rights Watch', a non-governmental organisation noteworthy for its previous criticism of Israel's actions during wars, slammed Hamas in Gaza.

The organisation reported today that Palestinian armed groups in Gaza violated the laws of war during the November 2012 fighting by launching hundreds of rockets toward population centers in Israel.

Human Rights Watch stated: 

About 1,500 rockets were fired at Israel between November 14 and 21, the Israel Defense Forces reported. At least 800 struck Israel, including 60 that hit populated areas.

The rocket attacks, including the first from Gaza to strike the Tel Aviv and Jerusalem areas, killed three Israeli civilians, wounded at least 38, several seriously, and destroyed civilian property. Rockets that fell short of their intended targets in Israel apparently killed at least two Palestinians in Gaza and wounded others.

Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “There is simply no legal justification for launching rockets at populated areas."

The Palestinian armed groups that are known to have launched rockets at Israel – Hamas' Izz el-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Islamic Jihad's Saraya al-Quds Brigades, and the Popular Resistance Committee's Nasser Salahaddin Brigades – at times said that their attacks targeted civilians or they sought to justify the attacks by calling them reprisals for Israeli attacks that killed civilians in Gaza.

Statements by armed groups that they deliberately targeted an Israeli city or Israeli civilians are demonstrating their intent to commit war crimes.

Hamas, the ruling authority in Gaza, is obligated to uphold the laws of war and should appropriately punish those responsible for serious violations, Human Rights Watch said.

While even British news commentators have recently argued that terrorists targeting civilians could be legitimate, it seems even the international community including NGOs previous critical of Israel are beginning to take note of the horrific behaviour of the terrorist outfits that run Gaza.

The full Human Rights Watch statement can be read here.

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