Anti-Israel Human Rights Watch Admits Hamas Terror Rocket Fire a War Crime

FILE - In this May 20, 2021 file photo, rockets are launched from the Gaza Strip towards Israel, in Gaza City, Human Rights Watch said Thursday, Aug. 12, 2021, that the thousands of rockets fired by the Palestinian militant group Hamas during the 11-day war with Israel in May “violated …
AP Photo/Hatem Moussa, File

In a rare occurrence, the George Soros-funded anti-Israel Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Thursday admitted Hamas was guilty of committing war crimes during its May conflict with Israel by indiscriminately firing thousands of terror rockets toward Israeli population centers.

The attacks “flagrantly violated” the laws of war, the New York-based group said in its report.

The report also acknowledged Israel’s claim that Palestinian rockets and mortars had misfired, and landed within Gaza, killing and injuring an unknown number of Palestinians. According to the report, one rocket that had fallen short above the city of Jabalya killed seven civilians and injured 15.

More than 4,300 terror rockets were launched at Israel from the Hamas-ruling Gaza Strip from May 11.  According to the Hamas-run Gaza health ministry, more than 230 Palestinians were killed in retaliatory strikes by the IDF against terror targets, 59 of them children.

Israel says more than 150 of those killed were terrorists from Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror groups. Many, including children, were also killed by errant Hamas rockets. At least 680 rockets were misfired and landed within Gaza itself, the Israeli military said.

Thirteen people in Israel, including a five-year-old boy and a 16-year-old girl, were killed by rockets, and hundreds more were injured.

“The rockets and mortars that Palestinian armed groups fired lack guidance systems and are prone to misfire, making them extremely inaccurate and thus inherently indiscriminate when directed toward areas with civilians. Launching such rockets to attack civilian areas is a war crime.

“Palestinian armed groups during the May fighting flagrantly violated the laws-of-war prohibition on indiscriminate attacks by launching thousands of unguided rockets towards Israeli cities,” Human Rights Watch acting Middle East and North Africa director Eric Goldstein said.

Human Rights Watch has in the past accused Israel of apartheid and of war crimes against the Palestinians.

Last month the group released a report accusing Israel of “apparent” war crimes over three Israeli airstrikes that it said killed 62 Palestinian civilians, claiming there were no clear military targets in the area and that Israel had not taken enough precautions to avoid civilian casualties.

Israel uses several methods to warn Gazans to evacuate targeted areas including telephone calls, messages and what the military calls “roofknocking” – sending a non-explosive device 15 minutes before a strike.

Hamas slammed the HRW report, calling it “an injustice to our people.”

“The only beneficiary of such a report is the Israeli occupation, because it equated the victim with the real criminal, while our Palestinian people are exercising their legitimate right to resist the occupation,” it said.

But Goldstein said, “Hamas authorities should stop trying to justify unlawful rocket attacks that indiscriminately kill and injure civilians by pointing to Israel’s violations.”

In a separate report, the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, this week said it had discovered subterranean terror tunnels near U.N. schools.

UNRWA said it “protested the takeover by the de facto authorities of one of these schools, which undermines the inviolability and neutrality of UNRWA premises.”


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