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December 24, 2012 5:56 pm

Human Rights Group Confirms Gaza Terrorists Use Civilians as ‘Human Shields’

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A Grad rocket destroyed this kindergarten classroom in Beersheva, Israel on Dec. 31, 2008. Photo: Avi Ohayon/GPO.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) issued a report that detailed how Gaza terrorists, during their conflict with Israel last month, fired rockets from densely populated civilian areas such as “homes, businesses, and a hotel, unnecessarily placing civilians in the vicinity at grave risk from Israeli counter-fire.” This confirms a long-held Israeli claim that Gaza terrorists use Palestinian civilians as “human shields” to fire rockets at Israel.

HRW—a George Soros-funded group that has also been critical of Israel—this time accused Gaza terrorist groups of violating international humanitarian law and committing war crimes by launching thousands of rockets toward population centers in Israel during the eight days of Operation Pillar of Defense.

About 1,500 rockets were fired at Israel from Nov. 14-21, killing three Israel civilians and wounding at least 38.

“Palestinian armed groups made clear in their statements that harming civilians was their aim,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at HRW.

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HRW named Hamas’s Izz el-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Islamic Jihad’s Saraya al-Quds Brigades, and the Popular Resistance Committee’s Nasser Salahaddin Brigades as the terrorist groups behind the attacks.

According to information collected by HRW through interviews and second-hand reports with Gaza civilians, terrorist groups seem to have “fired rockets from underground tunnels, opening a hatch to launch the munition.”

Many of these underground tunnels and hatches were fired from civilian areas, such as one rocket launch near an office building for international media outlets on Nov. 20.

“I saw it [the rocket] go up and heard it, and then smoke was in the office,” a witness told HRW.

The report also confirmed Iran’s involvement in the conflict and accused Iran of “aiding and abetting of war crimes” by knowingly supplying materials such as the Fajr-5 rocket or expertise to terrorist groups with intent to commit war crimes. HRW’s citation of Iran’s role in funding Middle East terrorism comes after the Wall Street Journal had reported earlier this month that Kenneth Roth, the group’s executive director, said Iran’s statements about Israel “are certainly reprehensible, but they are not incitement to genocide,” adding that “no one has acted” on those statements.

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  • Aryeh Kulak

    Are the Gazans, the well funded “darlings” of the Middle East any different therefore in their methodologies than the Nazis were? Wasn’t the Nazis’ aim to kill civilians? I think that there are some six million souls to testify to this. So how come we can’t treat the Gazans like we would treat the Nazis if they were alive today? The answer is, that if the Nazis were alive today they would be protected. Only the war criminals would be prosecuted and the rest would probably be given amnesty and all sorts of recompense from the world in light of their ‘plight’ of having had to fight for the Third Reich. Why does anybody think that it took so long to apprehend people like Eichmann and then Israel had to do it clandestinely? The civilized world is apparently less civilized than some countries in Africa where they just “hack em up” and then sort out the differences later. At least those countries see to it that hypocritical ‘justice’ never reaches them.

  • Lawrence Kulak

    Are the Gazans, the well funded “darlings” of the Middle East any different therefore in their methodologies than the Nazis were? Wasn’t the Nazis’ aim to kill civilians? I think that there are some six million souls to testify to this. So how come we can’t treat the Gazans like we would treat the Nazis if they were alive today? The answer is, that if the Nazis were alive today they would be protected. Only the war criminals would be prosecuted and the rest would probably be given amnesty and all sorts of recompense from the world in light of their ‘plight’ of having had to fight for the Third Reich. Why does anybody think that it took so long to apprehend people like Eichmann and then Israel had to do it clandestinely? The civilized world is apparently less civilized than some countries in Africa where they just “hack em up” and then sort out the differences later. At least those countries see to it that hypocritical ‘justice’ never reaches them.

  • Yoel Nitzarim

    Therefore, Mr. Roth, one may conclude that action is the only mechanism you would deem requisite for there to be incitement? Afresymol!

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