|HRW press conference in Gaza, 2010 [Image Source]|
HRW came out today with a report entitled "Gaza: Palestinian Rockets Unlawfully Targeted Israeli Civilians" [online here]. If the intention was to alert the world to something new and disturbing, it would be an outstanding example of too little, too late. Perhaps there was a more sophisticated strategy that we're just not getting.
Here's how it starts:
Palestinian armed groups in Gaza violated the laws of war during the November 2012 fighting by launching hundreds of rockets toward population centers in Israel. About 1,500 rockets were fired at Israel between November 14 and 21, the Israel Defense Forces reported. At least 800 struck Israel, including 60 that hit populated areas. The rocket attacks, including the first from Gaza to strike the Tel Aviv and Jerusalem areas, killed three Israeli civilians, wounded at least 38, several seriously, and destroyed civilian property. Rockets that fell short of their intended targets in Israel apparently killed at least two Palestinians in Gaza and wounded others, Human Rights Watch said.In the real world, as distinct from the fantasy-land routinely depicted in HRW's reflexive criticisms of (to an absurd extent) Israel, those rockets and those Palestinian statements and intentions have been a factor for years.
“Palestinian armed groups made clear in their statements that harming civilians was their aim,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “There is simply no legal justification for launching rockets at populated areas... Statements by armed groups that they deliberately targeted an Israeli city or Israeli civilians are demonstrating their intent to commit war crimes.”
How HRW can find the courage (yes, there are probably more evocative, more accurate words than 'courage') to come out now, a month after this latest eruption of intense fighting and discover America and the barrage of Gazan rockets is something to think about. We mean, something for us to think about.
It's fairly plain that no one at HRW especially cares to view the ongoing deadly war waged by Palestinian terrorists under the leadership of the Hamas regime as something that deserves to be watched (to borrow from the organization's name), perhaps because HRW doesn't perceive any threat to the "Human Rights" (to borrow from the organization's name) of Israelis. Whatever.
But HRW's report, in our estimation and contrary to some of the analysis we are seeing this afternoon on the web, is not a complete and utter waste of time and insult to the insult and moral sensibilities of civilized people living in this area. No, not entirely. Because if you go down to paragraph 24, you see something novel and ground-breaking.
Some rockets launched by Palestinian armed groups fell short and struck inside Gaza. On November 16, a rocket that appears to have been launched from within Gaza hit a crowded street in the Gazan town of Jabalya, killing a man, 23, and a boy, 4, and wounding five people.We have noted repeatedly the devastating effects of the Gazan Palestinian Arab use of their own neighbours, and especially children, as human shields. We have also written again and again (there's a summary in yesterday's post: ("23-Dec-12: The terrorist rocket-men of Gaza are back in action") about the deadly and almost entirely unreported phenomenon of terrorist "fell short" rockets. No one, as far as we can tell, other than Israelis and supporters of Israel makes a fuss of these Arab-on-Arab outrages, and certainly not via the news media. We say that unless outsiders know about, and therefore start to understand, the contempt which the Palestinian Arab terrorists have for their own brethren, children and neighbours, the essence of what they are doing will remain elusive and misunderstood.
So hooray for HRW. Their reporting cannot be considered an insult to the intelligence, and an ongoing offence to those of us holding rational views about terrorism and the people who do it. Not any more. Not since today. Not since paragraph 24 of the most recent HRW report.