HRW: Hamas rockets from Gaza violated laws of war

Report: Hamas broke int'l law in Gaza operation by firing rockets from densely populated areas to civilian populations in Israel.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
December 24, 2012 09:44
1 minute read.
Gaza terrorists launch rockets [file]

Gaza terrorists launch rockets 370. (photo credit: IDF Spokesmans Office)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

Armed Palestinian groups firing rockets at Israeli cities violated the laws of war during Operation Pillar of Defense, Human Rights Watch said in a report released on Monday.

“Palestinian armed groups made clear in their statements that harming civilians was their aim,” said HRW’s Middle East director Sarah Leah Whitson. “There is simply no legal justification for launching rockets at populated areas.”

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.




The group also found that Gazan groups, including Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Popular Resistance Committee, justified targeting civilian centers as reprisal for Israeli strikes, an act also banned under international law.

Furthermore, such groups “repeatedly fired rockets from densely populated areas, near homes, businesses and a hotel, unnecessarily placing civilians in the vicinity at grave risk from Israeli counter- fire,” the report said.

The detailed report included examples of rockets being launched from densely populated areas in Gaza, and noted that groups fired from underground tunnels with hatches for the first time.



HRW faulted Palestinian armed groups for failing to alert civilians or urge them to evacuate prior to launching rockets in their vicinity.

As the main political power in the Strip, the human rights group said, Hamas was responsible for reining in the behavior of other groups.

“As the ruling authority in Gaza, Hamas has an obligation to stop unlawful attacks and punish those responsible,” Whitson said.

A week earlier, HRW reported that Israeli attacks on journalists and media facilities during the operation also violated laws of war, saying that Israel provided no specific information to justify claims that they were military targets.

“Just because Israel says a journalist was a fighter or a TV station was a command center does not make it so,” Whitson said. “Journalists who praise Hamas and TV stations that applaud attacks on Israel may be propagandists, but that does not make them legitimate targets under the laws of war.”

Prof. Gerald Steinberg, the president of HRW watchdog group NGO Monitor, said in response to that report: “This is yet another example of HRW’s systematic lack of credibility and its biased approach to Israel.”

HRW, the group said, had lost “credibility over a number of Middle East-related issues.”

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

idf hebron
August 22, 2014
Palestinians throw Molotov cocktail at IDF checkpoint in Hebron

By KHALED ABU TOAMEH, TOVAH LAZAROFF