In a 62-page report released today (March 26, 2015), Amnesty International accused Palestinian terror groups of committing war crimes against Israelis and Gazans.
The report followed a similar fiery document published late last year that accused Israel of committing similar crimes during its counter terror Operation Protective Edge against Gaza terror groups in summer 2014.
During that conflict, the agency says in its new report, “Palestinian armed groups fired thousands of rockets and mortars at Israel, in many cases directed towards Israeli civilians and civilian objects, in violation of international law… The conduct of Palestinian armed groups, including firing from residential areas and using indiscriminate munitions that cannot be accurately directed at a military target, also endangered civilians in Gaza.”
The report, “Unlawful and Deadly: Rocket and Mortar Attacks by Palestinian Armed Groups During the 2014 Gaza/Israel Conflict” can be accessed by clicking here.
The report “does not address the summary killings of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip by Hamas forces for alleged ‘collaboration’ with Israel during the July/August 2014 conflict, which will be the subject of a forthcoming report,” the author writes.
Ditto for “Israeli violations, including attacks that constituted war crimes.”
The report minimizes the damage inflicted by Hamas on its people during the seven years after the bloody militia war it started with its Palestinian Authority government “partner” and rival, the Fatah faction.
In fact, the report altogether ignores the fact that Hamas ignited the coup, seizing control of the region and murdering anyone it believed posed a threat to that authority.
Amnesty also ignores the trigger for the “seven years of Israeli blockade” – that is, the terror group’s cross-border kidnapping of an Israeli soldier, who was held captive in the enclave for more than five years.
The agency instead writes benignly that Hamas “took over Palestinian governmental institutions in the Gaza Strip” and how that blockade “had already inflicted a severe cumulative toll on infrastructure, health systems and all aspects of life in the territory. The 1.8 million Palestinians living in the Strip could not leave, as the borders were sealed” except for transfer of limited medical patients, the agency writes plaintively, “and no place inside the Strip was truly safe. There are no bomb shelters or warning systems to help protect civilians in the Gaza Strip.”
But why should they need them?
If Israel is not attacked, it has no reason to retaliate, and has no desire to waste expensive, hard-to replace ammunition. Why is no place inside Gaza “truly safe” ? Could it be that Gazans are not safe under the administration of the Hamas terror administration that they chose to elect as their leadership?
“Several UN schools sheltering displaced civilians came under attack,” the report notes.
It did not explain that each of those buildings either also housed a cache of missiles or was being used as a rocket launch site in order to prevent a response by IDF soldiers tasked with silencing the rocket fire on Israeli civilians.
The majority of Israel’s 8.3 million citizens – and all 2.8 million Palestinians living in the West Bank – are now within range of at least some of the rockets held by Palestinian armed groups in Gaza, the report noted.
“In each of the three major Gaza/Israel conflicts over the last six years … the circle of fear has widened and the number of civilians who have suffered disruption, displacement and trauma has increased.”
More than a million Jewish Israelis were displaced from their homes, and the entire quarter-million Bedouin population of the Negev was placed at terrifying risk. The former seemed to be of little concern to Amnesty, which pointed to “bomb shelters, advanced warning systems and Israel’s Iron Dome missile defence system” which helped limit civilian casualties.Hana Levi Julian