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June 23, 2015 1:44 pm

Israeli Watchdog Criticizes UN Gaza War Report for Sourcing From Non-Transparent NGOs

avatar by Eliezer Sherman

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A rocket being fired from the Gaza Strip. Photo: Twitter.

A rocket being fired from the Gaza Strip. Photo: Twitter.

Several of the nongovernmental organizations that fed the United National Human Rights Council with information leading to its allegations of Israeli and Hamas war crimes during Operation Protective Edge last summer have shown a lack of financial accountability and therefore transparency, a prominent Israeli watchdog reported on Tuesday.

Specifically, NGO Monitor indicated three NGOs that do not “publish financial information, reflecting a lack of transparency and accountability.”

Among those groups reported by NGO Monitor are the Gaza-based Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, which was cited 21 times in the U.N. findings, including providing photographs of a home bombed by Israeli jets.

Another of the groups was Al-Haq, a Palestinian rights group that calls for the Palestinian ‘Right of Return’ to be implemented for the refugees of the 1948 Israeli War of Independence and their descendants, which discussed rolling power outages in Gaza throughout the war, and “24 strikes involving ambulances and medical personnel.”

The third was Al-Dameer, which provides legal assistance to Palestinian prisoners in Israeli detention centers. The group was cited 14 times, and discussed what it called “unabated” settler violence in the West Bank against Palestinians and their property during the crisis last summer.

Israel refused to cooperate with the U.N. fact-finding mission on Operation Protective Edge, releasing its own report on June 11 instead.

The U.N. report indicated that both Israel and Hamas may have committed war crimes in last summer’s 50-day war. NGO Monitor noted that the report was more balanced than the so-called Goldstone Report on the 2008-2009 Gaza war, but said the reliance on NGOs hurt the report’s credibility.

NGO Monitor criticized the U.N. panel headed by former New York supreme court judge Mary McGowan Davis for taking “quotes extensively from biased and unreliable political advocacy non-governmental organizations.”

“Although these groups lack credibility and do not employ professional fact-finding standards, the [Commission of Inquiry] repeated the NGOs’ unverifiable factual claims and allegations of Israeli ‘war crimes,’” said NGO Monitor.

Among the NGOs that the U.N. commission sought out for information were B’Tselem (69 citations), whose so-called Black Flag Report on Operation Protective Edge is mentioned 28 times, Amnesty International (53) and the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (50), which had reported on the number of Palestinian casualties in the 2014 Gaza war and provided the commission with photo evidence of sites targeted by Israeli airstrikes.

The report also quoted Breaking the Silence, a highly controversial Israeli NGO that claims to gather testimonies of soldiers who have fought in Israeli wars and allege wanton IDF abuse against Palestinians. Earlier this month, Israel’s deputy foreign minister, Tzipi Hotovely, tried to prevent an exhibition by the group from taking place in Zurich.

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  • It seems that the U.N commission of inquiry has missed many main points
    1 – The population of Gaza has NO Human Rights and cannot on fear of death criticize the Hamas Government or the Militias who keep the public suppressed in a dictatorship. This is supported by clandestine interviews of citizens describing their fears of death at the hands of the Hamas Regime.
    2 – There would have been virtually no civilian casualties if Hamas Militias had allowed
    all civilians to take shelter in the tunnels and large underground launching areas
    whose use was blocked.
    3 – Civilian casualties were inflated by the Militias re-dressing all Hamas Militias killed
    in civilian clothes before bringing dead to hospitals.
    4 – The casualty number include Fattah supporters summarily executed with out trial
    claiming that they were Israeli Spies.
    5 – Casualties arising from use of Human Shields are included without any criticism of this war crime action and casualties from large percentage of Hamas Rockets falling on their own people.
    6 – There is an urgent need to carry out the humane action of transferring tens of thousands of Fattah supporters to the PA to secure their lives something that was not done after the bloody coup in 2007.
    7 – The decision of the UN Secretary General to make Abu Mazen aka Mahmoud Abbas responsible for the rebuilding of Gaza is blocked by the Hamas Regime.
    8 – The actions of Hamas Militias in preventing the rebuilding of Gaza by forcing the citizens receiving building materials to sell them in the black market to the Militias to rebuild tunnels.
    9 – The Hamas Regime is funneling all funds from donors to war preparations.
    10 – No suggestions are made to give to Israel funds to cover destruction and losses
    caused to the Israeli Citizens.
    11 – No attempts are made in the report to discourage military action by Hamas to overthrow the PA regime and to create terror in Israel itself to discredit the PA regime
    and to inflict death and injury to Israeli Citizens in Jerusalem and other areas,
    12 – No mention is made of the dangers of introducing massive imports of armaments which will accompany the lifting the Military Blockade of Gaza!

    • mary daly

      do you really believe the bull your dishing out that was a load of fiction not indeed fact the un have blamed both hamas a d Israel of war crimes and rightly so

  • Israel – It is your duty and obligation, you must defend your family and citizens against Hamas rockets without constraints or limitations, no holds barred anything less is a dereliction of duty. This applies also to any acts of terror and violence by anyone. No response is strong enough. Anybody who thinks otherwise is committing desertion of family and friends to the atrocities of evil and terror.
    It is up to Israel to defend its people. In the past, history has shown the world stood idle while Jewish people, men, women and children were slaughtered.
    YJ Draiman

  • Joseph London

    Evidence of war crimes requires named people who are examined and cross examined in an independent court of law. NGO’s should be examined by the Charity Commission or a similar body to prove they are 100% non-political. Here in Britain Oxfam ran into trouble as a charity for appearing to be anti-Israel and pro-PA. Here in Northwest London the Pirchim or Pirchai Agudath Israel boys youth group had problems applying for a local youth group grant because Agudath Israel in Israel — but not in the UK — was a political faction. NGO’s in Israel should be required to meet international standards.

  • Markus E Brajtman

    Why does Israel not refer to the international Generals who praised the IDF for doing far more than required of any army in war?

    Why have they not been called by Israel to testify at the UN enquiry about war crimes?

    • mary daly


  • Markus E Brajtman

    Who are the supposed IDF soldiers who claimed in their statement, Breaking the Silence?
    If they are real IDF soldiers, why do they not comwe forward and show who they are?
    Or is this typically Arab lies about Israel to make the world hate Israel and Jews, more?

    If they are really former IDF soldiers, and come forward, they should be charged with High Treason and sentenced to long prison terms.
    But I have my doubts that they exist.

    • mary daly

      do you really believe the bull your dishing out that was a load of fiction not indeed fact the un have blamed both hamas a d Israel of war crimes and rightly so

    • mary daly

      high treason for what being truthful

  • Michael Garfinkel

    Are there no Sedition laws in Israel?

    Why aren’t the members of “Breaking the Silence locked up?

  • steven L

    The war of the West against Israel & the Jews goes on UN-abated!

  • Learn how to defend Israel from unfair media bias
    and refute inaccurate Israel-bashing reporting: Nonie Darwish is a pro-Israel Arab. for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting David helps college students to defend Israel. Front Page Magazine HR works to defend Israel against media bias. Shurat HaDin sues the terrorists! We see Jew-hatred not seen since the 1930s. Jewish and Israel news Middle East Media Research Institute Middle East Media Research Institute Myths and Facts about Israel Palestinian Media Watch A former Muslim terrorist has become pro-Israel. Exposing the UN’s relentless anti-Jew bias.

    Joining pro-Israel organizations might help Israel.
    Pro-Israel organizations include: American for a Safe Israel American Israel Public Affairs Committee HR works to defend Israel against media bias. Work to keep Jerusalem Jewish. Religious Zionists of America Zionist Organization of America

    PS: Since Orthodox Jews are increasing as a percentage of American Jews, they should also increase their participation in pro-Israel organizations, to compensate for the declining numbers of non-Orthodox Jews.