Human Rights Watch Report
Palestinian militants slam HRW report on Gaza war, says it is "biased"
Hamas and Palestinian militants slammed the Human Rights Watch report and criticized the allegations it made on Thursday, as the report was very biased towards the Israeli occupation and its interests.
Hazem Qassem ,Hamas spokesman, slammed the Human Rights Watch report ,and denounced the allegations made by it in a press statement:
"First, the allegations made in the Human Rights Watch report that" the resistance committed crimes are unfortunate, and they adopt the Israeli narrative and serve the Israeli narrative.
Secondly, the resistance obtained its legitimate right according to international law, and it did not target civilians. Rather, it was deliberately targeting military sites and announcing its strikes before an appropriate time so as not to cause civilian casualties".
Qassem added, "What targeted civilians directly is the occupation when it bombed residential towers on the heads of their occupants, killing more than 62 children and more than 50 women and elderly."
He asserted that the resistance is carrying out legitimate actions in defense of its Palestinian people.
"The main problem that remains is the occupation’s methodology and its continuation in occupying our Palestinian land and its siege imposed on the cities of our people, especially the Gaza Strip, and its aggression that targets civilians.", he said.
Qassem concluded, "Resistance is always in the context of self-defense, so all these tensions created by the occupation are the main cause in the "region.
Meanwhile, the Human Rights Watch clarified in its report that the rocket and mortar fire on Israeli cities by Palestinian groups during a May conflict in and around Gaza constituted war crimes.
Misfired or missed rockets also killed or injured "an undetermined number of Palestinians in Gaza," according to the group, with at least seven Palestinian civilians killed.
The rockets were launched during an 11-day conflict in which Israel bombarded Gaza with airstrikes while Palestinian groups in the blockaded enclave launched over 4,000 rockets at Israel.
260 people were killed in Gaza by Israeli strikes, including militants, while munitions from Gaza killed 13 people in Israel, including a soldier.
The report comes a day after the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) condemned the "existence and potential use by Palestinian armed groups" of tunnels beneath its Gaza schools, saying they put students and staff "at risk."
The organization issued its statement in response to a request from Israel's ambassador to the United Nations, Gilad Erdan, to halt funding after Israeli public television reported that Hamas prevented UN inspectors from inspecting a tunnel near a UNRWA school.
Human Rights Watch previously charged Israel with war crimes for strikes that killed dozens of civilians despite "no obvious military targets in the vicinity" during the conflict, which ended with a ceasefire on May 21.
In its report on Thursday, the rights group cited statements by Gaza's Islamist rulers, Hamas, and other militant groups announcing rocket attacks on Tel Aviv and other Israeli cities.
Following one such statement, a 63-year-old Israeli woman was killed by shrapnel from a rocket south of Tel Aviv. Another rocket struck Lod, about 20 kilometers (12 miles) from Tel Aviv, killing a father and his teenage daughter.
Human Rights Watch stated that "under international humanitarian law, or the laws of war, warring parties may only attack military objectives," and that "launching such rockets to attack civilian areas is a war crime."
The group proposed that the International Criminal Court, which is looking into allegations of Israeli war crimes, include "illegal Palestinian rocket attacks against Israeli occupation"
Human Rights Watch accused Israel of committing "apartheid" in April by attempting to maintain Jewish "domination" over Palestinians and its own Arab population, an accusation Israel categorically denied.