Ignoring all video and photographic evidence Human Rights Watch, led by Self Hating Jew Hall of fame Kenny Roth (seen on the left wearing his coveted shit-head award), has blasted Israel in a new report claiming that there was no basis for Israel’s claim that Hezbollah used Lebanese citizens as human shields. (for more on HRW’s bias see Human Rights Watch: One Lying NGO). I guess they didn’t have time to look at videos such as these below(if you are reading this on Israel forum or email list you won’t be able to see videos unless you click here)
Human Rights Watch condemns Israel In its harshest condemnation of Israel since last summer’s war, Human Rights Watch charged that most of the Lebanese civilian casualties came from “indiscriminate Israeli airstrikes,” according to a report to be released Thursday. In a statement issued before the report’s release, the human rights organization said there was no basis to the Israeli claim that civilian casualties resulted from Hizbullah guerrillas using civilians as shields. Israel has said that it attacked civilian areas because Hizbullah set up rocket launchers in villages and towns. More than 1,000 Lebanese were killed in the 34-day conflict last summer, which began after Hizbullah staged a cross-border raid, killing three IDF soldiers and capturing two others. They are still being held. IAF warplanes targeted Lebanese infrastructure, including bridges and Beirut Airport, and heavily damaged a neighborhood in Beirut known as a Hizbullah stronghold, as well as attacking Hizbullah centers in villages near the border. Hizbullah fired nearly 4,000 rockets at northern Israel, killing 40 civilians. 119 IDF soldiers were killed during the war. Human Rights Watch executive director Kenneth Roth said in the statement, “Israel wrongfully acted as if all civilians had heeded its warnings to evacuate southern Lebanon when it knew they had not, disregarding its continuing legal duty to distinguish between military targets and civilians.” He added, “Issuing warnings doesn’t make indiscriminate attacks lawful.” Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev rejected the report’s findings. ” Hizbullah adopted a deliberate strategy of shielding itself behind the civilian population and turning the civilians in Lebanon into a human shield,” he said, charging that Hizbullah “broke the first fundamental rule of war in that they deliberately exploited the civilian population of Lebanon as a human shield.” The full report was set to be released at a news conference in Jerusalem on Thursday. Human Rights Watch had to cancel a similar news conference in Beirut last month because of threats of Hizbullah protests. That report accused Hizbullah of firing rockets indiscriminately at civilian areas in Israel. Human Rights Watch said it investigated 94 cases of Israeli air, artillery and ground attacks “to discern the circumstances surrounding the deaths of 510 civilians and 51 combatants,” about half the death toll in Lebanon in the conflict. The group said simple movement of vehicles or people, “such as attempting to buy bread or moving around private homes,” could trigger a deadly IDF attack. The group charged that IAF aircraft targeted vehicles carrying fleeing civilians. Roth said that Hizbullah guerrillas did not wear uniforms, making it hard to pick them out from civilians, but that did not justify the IDF’s failure to distinguish between them. He said the laws of war dictate “if in doubt to treat the person as a civilian.” The report said the investigation “refutes the argument made by Israeli officials that most of the Lebanese civilian casualties were due to Hizbullah routinely hiding among civilians.” It said Hizbullah “did at times fire rockets from, and store weapons in populated areas and deploy its forces among the civilian population.” However, the human rights group said it “found no evidence in these cases of separate legal violation of shielding, which is the deliberate use of civilians to render combatants immune from attack.” Also, it said, Hizbullah conducted most of its activities and stored most of its weapons away from civilians. Regev said there were “countless documented examples of civilian facilities being used for military purposes – missiles in houses, mosques and schools used for storing weapons.” The report found that Hizbullah used hilltop UN positions for shelling Israel, which it said might be shielding, but that it required further investigation.