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Hizbullah committed war crimes, HRW asserts
JPost.com Staff
08/29/2007
Human Rights Watch report criticizes Hizbullah for targeting civilians during Second Lebanon War.
The New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) group is set to publish a report on Thursday condemning Hizbullah for human rights infringements committed during the Second Lebanon War. The HRW report focuses on the extent "Hizbullah targeted or indiscriminately fired its rockets toward civilians and civilian objects" during the war, according to a statement by the group. The report states that on many occasions missiles were fired at sites that were far removed from any legitimate military targets, adding that statements on the part of Hizbullah leaders to the effect that they would attack Israeli towns and cities left no doubt as to their intention to perpetrate war crimes. Israel Radio reported that HRW called upon Hizbullah to put an end to its attacks on civilians, and demanded that Syria, Lebanon and Iran prevent munitions shipments to the organization. HRW announced that on September 6 it planned to release another report documenting Israeli attacks that killed Lebanese civilians. The report aroused harsh responses in Lebanon, and Crowne Plaza Beirut, the hotel in which the group was to present the report Thursday, called off a planned press conference. "Israel, during the attacks of July 2006, violated all international conventions," Lebanese Prime Minister Faud Saniora's office said in a statement. "It killed nearly 1,200 Lebanese and injured thousands more and 72 hours after UN Resolution 1701 was adopted, it dropped 3.5 million cluster bombs in the south of the country." "We were the victims during this war and people have a right to defend themselves," Hizbullah spokesman Hussein Rahal said. "We did not target civilians but Israel on the other hand did target the civilian population in Lebanon."
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