has quietly confirmed nearly all of Israel’s main claims about Hamas’s conduct during last summer’s war in Gaza. Yet the organization still lacks the intellectual honesty to admit that its findings about Hamas completely undercut its main allegations against Israel – made vociferously both at the time and in a series of reports last fall and winter.
Altogether, Amnesty said, the rockets killed six Israeli civilians and “at least” 13 Palestinian civilians. Where did the latter figure come from? From a single misfired [Gazan] rocket that killed 13 civilians in the Al-Shati refugee camp. In other words, Amnesty didn’t bother checking to see whether other Hamas rockets also killed civilians; it simply cited the one case it couldn’t possibly ignore, because it was reported in real time by a foreign journalist at the scene. But according to Israel Defense Forces figures, roughly 550 rockets and mortars fired at Israel fell short and landed in Gaza, including 119 that hit urban areas. And it defies belief to think those other 549 rockets and mortars produced no casualties... [O]nce you acknowledge that some portion of those civilian casualties was actually caused by misfired Hamas rockets rather than Israeli strikes, then the claim of excessive civilian casualties becomes even more untenable. Indeed, it means the civilian-to-combatant fatality ratio from Israeli strikes was likely even below 1:1...
The UN estimate that there has been an average three-to one ratio of civilian to combatant deaths in such conflicts worldwide. Three civilians for every combatant killed. That is the estimated ratio in Afghanistan: three to one. In Iraq, and in Kosovo, it was worse: the ratio is believed to be four-to-one. Anecdotal evidence suggests the ratios were very much higher in Chechnya and Serbia... [See "A salute to the IDF", R. J. Kemp, Jerusalem Post, June 15, 2011].
|From an Amnesty Campaign [Source]|
that these “civilian” buildings doubled as military facilities – weapons storehouses, command and control centers, etc. – and were, therefore, legitimate military targets, but human rights groups pooh-poohed that claim. Now, however, Amnesty has admitted that Hamas used Gaza’s main hospital [Shifa] as a detention, interrogation and torture center. And if Hamas was misusing a hospital in this way, it defies belief to think it wasn’t similarly misusing other civilian buildings for military purposes. Once you admit that Hamas did so once, there’s no reason to think it wouldn’t do so again. And, in that case, the allegation that Israel wantonly attacked civilian structures also collapses.
Amnesty has effectively demolished its two main allegations against Israel. And if it had a shred of honor and decency left, it would admit it.