Hamas terrorists in Gaza. (AP/Khalil Hamra) (AP/Khalil Hamra)
Hamas

Amnesty International’s latest report on last summer’s war charges Israel with war crimes. Israel denounced the report, which made no mention of Hamas terror. Hamas welcomed it, calling for “punitive measures” against Israel.

Hadar Goldin

Lieutenant Hadar Goldin. (Courtesy)

Amnesty International alleged in a report released Wednesday that the IDF committed war crimes and crimes against humanity during Operation Protective Edge, specifically during an incident in which they claim that the IDF carried out four days of intense bombardment “in retaliation” for an attack by Hamas terrorists in which the body of Lieutenant Hadar Goldin was captured. It is believed that Goldin was killed during that battle and that Hamas is still holding his body.

Amnesty’s report says Israeli forces carried out “disproportionate and indiscriminate” attacks, killing at least 135 civilians within those four days alone. It also alleges that the IDF failed to probe the incident independently, which prompted the international watchdog to call on the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate.

Hamas, the Islamic terror group that rules Gaza, welcomed Amnesty’s report. Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said the ICC should take “punitive measures” against Israel.

Amnesty’s ‘Compulsive Obsessiveness’ Towards Israel

Israel’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, Emmanuel Nahshon, denounced the report — one of several that the London-based watchdog has released on the Gaza war — as “fundamentally flawed in its methodologies, in its facts, in its legal analysis and in its conclusions.”

“When one reads the report, the impression is given that the IDF was fighting against itself – as there is almost no mention of the military actions of Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist organizations,” he said.

Israeli Foreign Ministry Spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon. (Twitter)

Israeli Foreign Ministry Spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon. (Twitter)

“Nowhere does Amnesty describe the heinous strategy of these terrorist organizations to embed their military operations within the civilian environment and to fire at the IDF and Israel’s civilian population from behind the civilian population,” according to Israel’s response to the report.

Israel also says that Amnesty’s linkage between Goldin’s abduction and the ensuing warfare is “a false narrative.”

“It seems that Amnesty forgot that there was an ongoing conflict – during which the IDF was operating to stop rocket fire and neutralize cross-border assault tunnels, and Palestinian terrorist organizations were actively engaging in intensive conflict against the IDF from within the civilian environment. The intensive combat that occurred in Rafah – throughout the conflict, and not just on the dates Amnesty focuses on – was no exception.”

Amnesty’s methodology is so “fundamentally flawed” that it “brings into serious question Amnesty’s professional standards,” Israel charged.

“Entire claims are based on the uncorroborated testimonies of individual Palestinians and unidentified ‘fieldworkers,’ without considering any potential biases or coercion by Hamas authorities, or simply the fact that individuals caught in the middle of combat are limited in their capacity to know the reasons, methodologies and intentions of the fighting parties….

“In contrast, an official report compiled and published by the Government of Israel regarding the 2014 Gaza Conflict is given only cursory mention and does not weigh at all into Amnesty’s conclusions regarding the IDF’s conduct.”

The Amnesty report also indicates a flawed understanding of international law, Israel points out. Its conclusion “merely reflects the political bias of Amnesty towards Israel.”

Contrary to Amnesty’s claims, the IDF in fact did conduct an internal investigation through a “robust, effective and thorough mechanism” for addressing allegations of misconduct. “Alleged incidents occurring in Rafah during the time period covered by the report are under examination by the IDF General Staff Fact-Finding Assessment Mechanism, and their findings will be used by the Military Advocate General when deciding whether to open a criminal investigation,” Israel stated.

“Once again Amnesty has shown its compulsive obsessiveness towards Israel by rehashing already existing claims and complaints into a smoke and mirrors website,” the Foreign Ministry concluded.

By: Max Gelber, United with Israel
AP contributed to this report.

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