Soldiers detain a Palestinian boy during clashes in Hebron.
(photo credit: MUSSA QAWASMA / REUTERS)
The recent Amnesty International Report on the state of human rights in 159 countries and territories during 2017 claims Israel is “killing” and “torturing” Palestinian children with impunity.
Its critique of Israel is more extensive and critical than those of known bastions of human rights violations, including Syria, Iraq, and Yemen.
“June marked 50 years since Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian Territories and the start of the 11th year of its illegal blockade of the Gaza Strip, subjecting approximately 2 million inhabitants to collective punishment and a growing humanitarian crisis,” the report begins.
“Israeli forces unlawfully killed Palestinian civilians, including children... Torture and other ill-treatment of detainees, including children, remained pervasive and was committed with impunity,” it continues.
In its “Unlawful Killings” section, the document claims Israeli soldiers, police and security guards killed at least 75 Palestinians, later noting that “some of those killed were shot while attacking Israelis or suspected of intending an attack.”
“Many, including children, were shot and unlawfully killed while posing no immediate threat to life,” the reports states.
The “Excessive Use of Force” section claims that Israeli forces killed at least 20 Palestinians and wounded thousands while being attacked during riots.
“Many protesters threw rocks or other projectiles, but were posing no threat to the lives of well-protected Israeli soldiers when they were shot,” it states.
Daniel Laufer, head of foreign media relations for NGO Monitor, said the annual report has long harbored egregious anti-Israel bias.
“Amnesty’s 2017 report is rife with distortions and maintains the group’s longstanding anti-Israel bias,” he said on Thursday. “That the Israel section is longer than those on Syria, Iraq, and Yemen, laughably suggests that there are greater human rights issues in Israel than in those countries.”
Among the questionable sections, Laufer notes that the report states that Khalida Jarrar, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council and board member of the Ramallah-based NGO Addameer Prisioner Support and Human Rights Association, and Addameer staff member Salah Hammouri, remained in administrative detention at the end of the year.
“[However], it fails to mention that these are both members of the PFLP terror organization, Jarrar being a senior official, and Hamouri having been jailed for attempting to assassinate Chief Rabbi Ovadia Yosef,” said Laufer.
In response to the section claiming: “Many protesters threw rocks or other projectiles but were posing no threat to the lives of well-protected Israeli soldiers when they were shot,” Laufer said : “This thinking both excuses violence, while creating a baseless standard that prevents Israeli forces from protecting themselves and others.”