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Too Little Too Late By: HonestReporting.com
FrontPageMagazine.com | Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Non-governmental organizations claiming to represent universal human rights have been at the forefront of attacks against Israel, accusing the IDF of "war crimes" and other illegal behavior during the Gaza conflict. As a result of the "halo effect", such NGOs, because of their humanitarian focus, are insulated from scrutiny and are regarded as above reproach by the media.

Chief amongst these NGOs is Human Rights Watch, which has consistently demonstrated an anti-Israel agenda, releasing numerous reports focused on Israel's alleged misdemeanors. Now, however, HRW has released a 31-page report and an accompanying video (see below) accusing Hamas of violating the laws of war by launching rocket attacks against the Israeli civilian population since November 2008.

While any acknowledgment of Hamas crimes from HRW or any other powerful NGO is welcome, we have to ask why has it taken so long, after several years and thousands of Qassam rockets and mortars fired from the Gaza Strip. Could it be because HRW was caught with its hands in the Saudi cookie jar?

As we recently reported, HRW's Sarah Leah Whitson was exposed trying to fundraise from wealthy Saudis by highlighting battles with "pro-Israel pressure groups in the US, the European Union and the United Nations". HRW has been suitably embarrassed and its latest report on Hamas rocket attacks needs to be seen in this context.

In addition, NGO Monitor asks a number of questions, including over the timing of the report, HRW's perpetuation of the "balance" between terrorist groups and their targets, and HRW's failure to condemn Hamas for its extensive use of human shields.

Sorry HRW, but your report and video are simply too little too late.

Earlier in the year, another NGO, Physicians for Human Rights issued a damning report on the IDF's behavior in Gaza. Now, the Jerusalem Post reveals the contents of a Defense Ministry counterreport that debunks PHR's claims. For example:

One of the more serious accusations in the PHR report related to the deaths of 16 Palestinian medical personnel killed during the operation. "It seems that army soldiers no longer regard medical personnel as entitled to the special protection they are granted during the performance of their duties," PHR wrote.

In response, the Defense Ministry report presented a Hamas statement, published on affiliated Web sites, that nine of the 16 medical personnel killed were Hamas operatives and fighters. In addition, pictures of some of them were even shown on Hamas Web sites holding weapons such as RPGs and Kalashnikov rifles.

Read the full article here.

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