NGO questions credibility of HRW over Israel attacks

NGO Monitor slams "unsubstantiated" claim by Human Rights Watch that Israel carried out unlawful strikes on Palestinian journalists.

Smoke from explosion in Gaza Strip [file] (photo credit: Ibraheem Abu Mustafa / Reuters)
Smoke from explosion in Gaza Strip [file]
(photo credit: Ibraheem Abu Mustafa / Reuters)
NGO Monitor on Thursday attacked the credibility of Human Rights Watch, which earlier in the day criticized Israel for "unlawfully" attacking journalists during IDF Operation Pillar of Defense.
“This is yet another example of HRW’s systematic lack of credibility and its biased approach to Israel,” said Prof. Gerald Steinberg, president of NGO Monitor. “Calling a military attack ‘unlawful’ is a serious charge, which should not be made lightly. But HRW cannot substantiate these allegations.”
Earlier, Human Rights Watch released a scathing attack on Israel for the killing of two Palestinian journalists and attacking of media facilities.
Two cameramen working for al-Aqsa TV, a station affiliated with Gaza's Hamas-run government, were killed by Israeli air strikes on their car on November 20.
Israeli planes also bombed a tower block housing many of Gaza's local and international media offices, in attacks that Israel said at the time targeted the communications infrastructure and personnel of militant groups.
"Just because Israel says a journalist was a fighter or a TV station was a command center does not make it so," Sarah Leah Witson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch, said in a statement released by the New York-based organization.
Commenting on the group's statement, the IDF said it "acts in accordance with the laws of armed conflict, despite the ongoing deliberate violations and abuse of these laws by the terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip."
"The details of the events mentioned in the report are being checked," the IDF said in a statement emailed to Reuters. "Once this process is complete, we will be able to provide a comprehensive response."