A number of NGOs have made statements and launched social media campaigns related to the violent confrontations along Gaza’s border on Fridays, beginning March 30, 2018, under the label of “Great March of Return.” Analysis of these posts and reports show a consistent pattern of erasing the context, including the stated aim of trampling the fence in order to enable masses of Palestinians to cross, and the threats to Israeli civilians living a few hundred meters from the border; the Palestinian use of civilians (including women and children) as human shields; and the central role of terror organizations, including Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). The numerous instances of Palestinian minors hurling rocks and approaching the border are scrubbed from the NGO reports, as well as a video of a 7-year-old Palestinian girl sent across the border for propaganda purposes. Furthermore, in alleging that the Israeli military had violated international law in killing a number of Palestinians involved in the violence, the NGOs ignore the evidence that the majority of deaths were of members of terror organizations.
The following showcases a selection of extreme bias by human rights NGOs:
Table of Contents
Defense for Children International – Palestine (DCI-P)
Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI)/Yesh Din/ Gisha/ Hamoked
Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP)
World Council of Churches (WCC)
American Friends Service Committee (AFSC)/ Pax Christi/ Mennonite Central Committee
Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC)
If Not Now
Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP)
Association of International Development Agencies (AIDA)
US Campaign for Palestinian Rights (USCPR)
Human Rights Watch (HRW)
- On May 16, 2018, HRW’s UN director Louis Charbonneau stated that the “US blocking the Security Council from calling for an investigation into the situation in Gaza sends the message that Israeli security forces’ calculated killings of protestors will come with no cost. The Council’s silence and inaction will only encourage future Israeli abuses in Gaza and further undermine US credibility.”
- On May 16, 2018, HRW’s Executive Director Ken Roth tweeted “International Criminal Court prosecutor (who has jurisdiction because Palestine is an ICC member) vows to “take any action warranted” over Israeli snipers’ killing of Gaza border protesters. http://bit.ly/2Gq1vks .”
- On May 16, 2018, HRW’s European Media Director of HRW Andrew Stroehlein tweeted “Profiles in cowardice… And this after @nikkihaley praised Israel for murdering 58 protesters…”
- On May 15, 2018, HRW’s Executive Director of Middle East and North Africa Division Sarah Leah Whitson tweeted, “Read @HRW @OmarSShakir commentary on why #Israel open-fire orders predictably (and so preventably) result in bloodbath – not accidents but part of deliberate plan.”
- On May 15, 2018, Whitson stated that “The policy of Israeli authorities to fire irrespective of whether there is an immediate threat to life on Palestinian demonstrators in Gaza, caged in for a decade and under occupation for a half century has resulted in a bloodbath that anyone could have foreseen.”
- On May 15, 2018, Roth tweeted “The issue isn’t whether the Gaza border protests were entirely peaceful (obviously they weren’t) but whether the protesters posed an imminent lethal threat requiring well entrenched Israeli snipers to use lethal force that killed 58. http://bit.ly/2Gj23bs”
- On May 15, 2018, Omar Shakir tweeted “US green-lighting Israel’s ‘calculated killings of protesters’- @hrw reacts to US blocking UN Security Council from investigating Gaza bloodbath.”
- On May 15, 2018, Shakir published an article titled “Israeli Open-Fire Orders Predictably Result in Bloodbath” stating that “Bloodshed on this scale results directly from these open-fire orders that green-light the firing on demonstrators irrespective of the threat they pose, along with Israel’s decades-long failure to hold accountable soldiers who violate their already lax open-fire orders. As criticism of this predictable bloodbath pours in from leaders around the world, the Trump administration is blaming Hamas alone, giving Israel a green light to continue killing and maiming.”
- On May 15, 2018, Shakir tweeted “Leaders across world have condemned Gaza bloodbath, but Trump admin, who celebrated as Israeli forces gunned down demonstrators, blamed Hamas alone. @hrw‘s @saribashi tells @washingtonpost that this gives Israel ‘green light to continue killing & maiming.’”
- On May 15, 2018, Bashi retweeted Raf Sanchez (Middle East Correspondent- Telegraph), “The Israelis keep dropping tear gas with a drone on this communal tent full of women and kids. We’re 500+ yards from the border and I can’t see anyone throwing stones nearby or any other justification. #Gaza”
- On May 15, 2018, Bashi tweeted “foreseeable — ie preventable — bloodbath in #Gaza – Turkey Recalls Ambassadors to US, Israel After Gaza Deaths.”
- On May 15, 2018, Stroehlein tweeted ‘“Whoever the demonstrators represent — and many of them are young people simply representing themselves and their frustrated dreams — entering a border zone declared off limits by Israel is not a crime punishable by death.’ – @saribashi on #Gaza https://wapo.st/2IJbpTo”
- On May 15, 2018, HRW’s UN Director Louis Charbonneau tweeted “@hrw reaction to US blocking #UN Security Council call for investigation of #Israel‘s killing of #Gaza US thwarting council action highlights its double standards as it seeks to mobilize #UNSC to hold abusers to account in crises like #Syria & #Myanmar.”
- On May 14, 2018, HRW retweeted Stroehlein’s tweet, stating “On yesterday’s bloodbath in Gaza: Israeli soldiers killed 55 people & wounded thousands. Israel’s kill-first-don’t-ask-any-questions-later policy of murdering people protesting their being caged in an open-air prison…”
- On May 14, 2018, Stroehlein tweeted “I love Americans who claim not to understand Palestinian rage. I’ve seen Americans go screaming bonkers because they felt someone stole their parking space. Imagine if they felt someone stole their land & their home… They’d be raging like Palestinians. Anyone would.”
- On May 14, 2018, Roth tweeted “According to the pro-Israel trolls, it’s all the Palestinians’ fault that Israeli snipers killed 55 of them with nary a scratch on the Israeli side of the Gaza border. Some last resort to stop an imminent lethal threat!”
- On May 14, 2018, HRW’s Lebanon and Kuwait Researcher Bassan Khawaja tweeted “@HRW recently found that killings of #Gaza protesters were unlawful and the direct result of a policy to use live ammunition against Palestinians who posed no imminent threat to life https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/04/03/israel-gaza-killings-unlawful-calculated … #Palestine #Israel.”
- On May 14, 2018, Whitson tweeted “Even @NYDailyNews gets it. The whole word gets it. Israel and The US are the ghouls in #Gaza.”
- On May 14, 2018, Sari Bashi stated that “Whoever the demonstrators represent — and many of them are young people simply representing themselves and their frustrated dreams — entering a border zone declared off limits by Israel is not a crime punishable by death.”
- HRW retweeted its research assistant’s tweet that sights the Gaza Ministry of Health, a Hamas institution, without any independent verification, stating “Update from Gaza Ministry of Health: Israeli forces killed 55 Palestinians (including 6 children) injured 1359 with live ammunition. #peopleNotNumbers”
- On May 14, 2018, HRW’s Communications Director tweeted “Israeli policy has resulted in a predictable bloodbath – background here, more from @OmarSShakir https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/04/03/israel-gaza-killings-unlawful-calculated …”
- On May 14, 2018, HRW’s Senior Counsel tweeted that “A reminder that the situation in #Palestine is under the #ICC prosecutor’s scrutiny; see her April statement on #Gaza: http://bit.ly/2qhhfjD.”
- On April 14, 2018, HRW Executive Director Ken Roth tweeted: “These well fortified Israeli snipers at Gaza border protests were the ones who supposedly felt they faced such an imminent lethal threat that they had no choice but to use lethal force. Or they had illegally liberal open-fire orders.”
- On April 11, 2018, HRW Israel and Palestine Director Omar Shakir was interviewed on Al Jazeera on “impunity for Israel’s killings of demonstrators in Gaza.” According to Shakir, “Israeli investigations going back for the majority of its 50 years of occupation, and even before then, have been a whitewash operation…we are talking about killings planned at the highest levels of the Israeli government that greenlighted firing on unarmed demonstrators. The reality is it’s time for international investigations.”
- On April 11, 2018, Omar Shakir tweeted: “When a state deems the gunning down of a clearly unarmed demonstrator to the raucous cheers of his peers ‘exemplary,’ what power won’t it claim? For those still defending Israel’s Gaza policy: what more do you possibly need to see to say enough?”
- Statement by Middle East and North Africa director Sarah Leah Whitson, “The shocking number of Palestinians killed and hurt today by soldiers firing across the Gaza fence raises serious questions about Israel’s longstanding use of live ammunition to police demonstrations. Israeli allegations of violence by some protestors do not change the fact that using lethal force is banned by international law except to meet an imminent threat to life” (emphasis added).
- Ignoring the fact that the majority of those killed were Hamas operatives, Israeli security concerns, the context of violence and terrorism, and Israel’s sovereign right to defend its border, HRW Executive Director Ken Roth tweeted “Irrelevancies offered to defend Israel’s killing Gaza protesters: -Hamas started it. -It was a ‘provocation.’ -Some victims weren’t nice people. -Some protesters used violence. Truth: None justifies Israel using lethal force except as last resort to stop imminent threat to life” (emphasis added).
- On April 3, 2018, HRW issued an “analysis” of the March 30, 2018 events along the Israel-Gaza border. As addressed by NGO Monitor, this latest publication lacks credible methodology and manipulates the presentation of facts and law.
- On May 15, 2018, retweeted its Crisis Response Director stating “This is a violation of international standards, in some instances committing what appear to be wilful killings constituting war crimes.” @amnesty ‘s @philipluther #Gaza”
- On May 15, 2018, retweeted its Senior Policy Advisor stating “What we’re seeing is that Israel has used, yet again, excessive and lethal force against protesters who do not pose an imminent threat,” .@amnesty‘s .@magdamughrabi https://nyti.ms/2KY82pI #Gaza”
- On May 15, 2018, tweeted that “Today marks 70 years since the #Nakba. For 5 million #Palestinian refugees there is still NO prospect for return and most have NO prospect for resettlement. We call on #Israel to allow for their return and host states to protect and fulfill their rights.”
- On May 14, 2018, retweeted its Secretary General stating “Dozens of Palestinians are dead today, after #Israel used live ammunition against #Gaza Almost 2,000 more have been wounded. Many of them have injuries to the head and chest. This is totally abhorrent and it demands justice http://amn.st/6019De2bV”
- On May 14, 2018, retweeted its MENA worker, Raer Jarrar, stating that “My statement on behalf on @amnestyusa: ‘the U.S. must take concrete steps to stop the delivery of arms and military equipment to #Israel, and demand independent, impartial investigations into reports of violations.” https://www.amnestyusa.org/press-releases/us-embassy-move-to-jerusalem-rewards-israels-illegal-annexation-and-settlement-policy-says-amnesty-international/ … #Gaza”
- On May 14, 2018, retweeted its Senior Policy Advisor “.@amnesty: Arms embargo needed to end impunity for wilfull killing of Palestinian civilians in #Gaza https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2018/05/israelopt-use-of-excessive-force-in-gaza-an-abhorrent-violation-of-international-law/?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=article&utm_term=&utm_campaign=social … #WarCrimes”
- On May 14, 2018, quoted the Palestinian Ministry of Health, a Hamas institution, without independent verification stating that “Updated numbers from the Palestinian Ministry of Health show 52 people have been killed today in #Gaza, including 5 children under 18.”
- On May 14, 2018, tweeted that “We are witnessing an abhorrent violation of international law & human rights in #Gaza. 38 confirmed dead, including 6 children, with close to 2000 people injured. Many are reporting injuries to the head and chest. Over 500 injured with live ammunition. This must end immediately.”
- On April 13, 2018, Amnesty released a statement titled “Israeli forces must end the use of excessive force in response to ‘Great March of Return’ protests” calling for “independent and effective investigations.” According to Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa Magdalena Mughrabi, “For the past two weeks, the world has watched in horror as Israeli forces unleashed excessive, deadly force against protesters, including children, who merely demand an end to Israel’s brutal policies towards Gaza and a life of dignity…The Israeli authorities must urgently reverse their policies and abide by their international legal obligations.”
- On April 13, 2018, Amnesty tweeted: “Reports of over 300 people injured so far in #Gaza from tear gas and live ammunition, including one Palestinian shot in the head with live ammunition, and one photojournalist. A medical team was hit with tear gas in eastern #Gaza. This is not acceptable. #stopexcesiveforce.”
- States that “The Israeli authorities must stop using lethal and other excessive force against Palestinian protesters once and for all. At least 17 people have died…” ignoring that fact that 10 of the 15 Palestinians killed were identified by the IDF as Hamas operatives.
- Ignores the fact that Israeli civilians live in extremely close proximity to the border and that Israeli soldiers were deployed to protect these civilians and the border when alleging that “While some Palestinian demonstrators have thrown stones and other objects towards the fence, it’s hard to believe how this would be an imminent danger to the lives of well-equipped soldiers protected by snipers, tanks and drones” (emphasis added).
- States “The Israeli authorities are obligated to respect the right to peaceful protest and, even if violence may occur, only the minimum force necessary to address it can be used. Having consistently ignored the human rights of Palestinian refugees for 70 years, Israel must at least hear their demands and allow peaceful demonstrations and protests to take place” (emphasis added). While the statement is fraught with misinterpretations of international law, this claim in particular simply points to Amnesty’s political motivations. It further ignores that the protests were far from peaceful, as seen by the use of Molotov cocktails, arson, and attempts to breach the border fence.
- On May 15, 2018, tweeted “Today marks 70 years since the #Nakba, the expulsion + displacement of 1000s of Palestinians. As the world’s largest refugee population, they’ve had their futures denied for 7 decades. Israel must allow for their return.”
- On May 15, 2018, tweeted “The horrific #Gaza shootings by #Israel break international law and could amount to war crimes. Read more:”
- On May 14, 2018, retweeted “News From Amnesty,” stating “Today’s Gaza shootings are “another horrific example” of Israeli military using excessive force #Jerusalem #Gaza #Israel #Palestine
- On April 13, 2018, tweeted: “26 Palestinians have been killed and thousands injured over the past two weeks. #Israel must end this ‘horrifying’ use of force against protesters in Gaza.”
- Tweeted that it was “troubling” that Israel was deploying troops to defend its border, stating “Troubling news that #Israel has deployed 100 snipers to the Gaza border for today’s Land Day protests. The authorities must refrain from using excessive force.”
- On April 13, 2018, PCHR released a statement condemning “this new crime committed by the Israeli forces that resulted in this huge number of causalities, killed and wounded, believing it is as a result of the international community’s silence towards the crimes committed by the Israeli forces upon an official decision at the highest military and political levels.” PCHR furthered that “demonstrations are fully peaceful and civilians have the right to raise their voices against the Israeli forces and closure and enjoy their right to return.”
- On April 1, 2018, PCHR published a press release accusing Israeli forces of “practice[ing[ murder in cold blood.”
- States that “According to the new field updates, the Land Day Activities continued in all border areas in the eastern Gaza Strip while the Israeli forces continued to target those participating in the peaceful assembly” (emphasis added).
- The PCHR statement includes the names of four Palestinians killed, including “Jihad Zuhair Abu Jamous (30) from Khan Younis was hit with a bullet to the head, in eastern Khuza’ah in Khan Younis.” According to the IDF, Abu Jamous was an active operative in Hamas’ armed military wing.
- In a press release, delegitimized Israel’s security threat and falsely claimed that the IDF used force based on “a political decision at the highest political level in Israel to suppress hundred thousands of civilians participating in fully peaceful protests within hundreds meters away from the border fence with Israel. Israeli forces directly targeted these protesters without any justification and without the latter posing threat or danger to life of the Israeli soldiers…It should be noted that the Israeli forces are still targeting the protesters, portending the increase of victims’ number. (emphasis added).
- In the press release, PCHR lists Palestinians killed, including at least one the IDF identified as a Hamas operative.
- On May 14, 2018, tweeted that “14 May 2018: IOF Commit Egregious Killings of 59 Palestinians in the #Gaza Strip Ahead of 70th Nakba Commemoration http://alhaq.org/advocacy/topics/gaza/1247-14-may-2018-iof-commit-egregious-killings-of-59-palestinians-in-the-gaza-strip-as-great-return-march-protests-culminate-ahead-of-70th-nakba-commemoration …”
- On May 15, 2018, sent a letter to the High Representative of the EU regarding “the EU Response to the Mass Killings in the Occupied Gaza Strip.” In the letter, “Al-Haq denounced the statement issued by the High Representative on 14 May 2018, calling for proportionality in the use of force, and highlighted that in the context of the demonstrations in Gaza, Israel is obliged to act in accordance with international human rights law, as opposed to rules of engagement during hostilities as set out in international humanitarian law. Al-Haq also called on the EU to stand united against Israel’s unjustified and persistent killing and suppression of Palestinian protestors. Moreover, Al-Haq recalled that the European Union’s bilateral relationship with Israel is conditioned on their compliance with human rights law, a relationship that could be severed given Israel’s consistent and grave violations of international human rights law.”
- On May 15, 2018, tweeted “In the event that #UNSC fails to take action to prevent #Israel’s breach of peace & acts of aggression in Palestinian territory, UN General Assembly must trigger GA Resolution 377 A (V), collectively agree to take all necessary means to stop Israel’s international law violations”
- On May 15, 2018, Al-Haq through the Palestinian NGO umbrella organization PHROC released a statement calling for the UN Security Council to convene an emergency session, for Israel to “list its unlawful closure and blockade,” to ensure the “protection of Palestinians and that Israel refrains from resorting to the use of lethal force against unarmed civilian protesters,” and to “Establish an independent and transparent investigation into the IOF’s use of lethal means and methods, resulting in the killing of more than 100 Palestinians and the injury of thousands in the Gaza Strip since 30 March 2018.”
- On May 14, 2018, posted an article titled “IOF Commit Egregious Killings of 59 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip as Great Return March Protests Culminate Ahead of 70th Nakba Commemoration.” Al-Haq did not differentiate between combatants or civilians in its list of casualties.
- On April 12, 2018, Al-Haq tweeted an infographic titled “Gaza’s Untold Story: From Displacement to Death” that stated that “more than half of Palestinians killed were refugees displaced since the Nakba in 1948.”
- On April 11, 2018, Al-Haq published a report titled “Gaza: Documenting Wilful Killings and Injuries during the Great Return March” referring to Israel as the “belligerent occupant” and accusing the Israeli military of “indiscriminate and disproportionate use of lethal force against Palestinians.”
- Tweeted, “The attacks on Palestinian protestors on 30 March 2018 in #Gaza further establish #Israel’s unremitting suppression of #Palestinians’ right to peaceful protest, but most importantly the right to realize the right of return which Israel continues to deny.”
- Condemned Israel’s deployment of troops to defend its border, “#Israeli Occupying Forces had extensively prepared for and deployed additional forces and equipment in the area, including snipers, drones, bulldozers, and attack dogs, and issued explicit orders to use live fire against #Palestinian”
- The series of Al-Haq tweets was retweeted by FIDH.
- In a statement, lists “Palestinian protestors,” killed, including at least 10 who the IDF identifies as being Hamas operatives.
- On May 14, 2018, Al Mezan posted a press release “Nakba Day Protests in Gaza: 57 Palestinians Killed and 2,000 injured, 70 in Critical Condition,” stating “While continuing to verify the documentation of incidents on the ground, Al Mezan reiterates its strong condemnation of the use of lethal and other excessive force by the Israeli forces, including sharpshooters, to police demonstrations. Palestinians in Gaza have the right to peacefully assemble to demand their fundamental and inalienable human rights. The case of protesters, who pose no serious threat to the Israeli forces, being shot lethally indicates a bold continuation of unlawful targeting practices, despite its legal consequences and international condemnation.”
- On April 13, 2018, Al Mezan published a press release condemning the “use of lethal and other excessive force by Israeli forces, including sharpshooters, to police the peaceful demonstrations. The unarmed protesters, who pose no serious threat to the Israeli forces, have the right to peacefully assemble to demand their fundamental and inalienable human rights.”
- On April 12, 2018, Al Mezan and Adalah sent a letter to the Israeli Attorney General calling for the “Israeli military to refrain from firing live ammunition at Palestinian civilians participating in legitimate protest actions.”
- States that “Al Mezan also recalls that international humanitarian law prohibits the targeting of civilians and deliberate attacks that lack necessity and that are conducted disproportionately.” At least five Hamas operatives are included in Al Mezan’s list of “civilians” killed.
- Refers to the border between Israel and Gaza as a “separation fence.”
- On May 14, 2018, B’Tselem Executive Director Hagai El-Ad tweeted “The fact that live gunfire is once again the sole measure that the Israeli military is using in #Gaza evinces appalling indifference towards human life. @btselem calls for an immediate halt to the killing of Palestinian demonstrators.”
- On May 14, 2018, tweeted “Photos taken today in Gaza, East of the al-Bureij refugee camp, by our field researcher, Khaled al-‘Azayzeh Firing live ammunition at Gaza demonstrators shows appalling indifference to human life on the part of senior Israeli government and military: https://www.btselem.org/press_releases/20180514_appalling_indifference_to_human_life_at_gaza_fence …” One of the photos features a child with what appears to be a slingshot around his neck.
- On May 14, 2018, tweeted “Firing live ammunition at Gaza demonstrators shows appalling indifference to human life. The demonstrations held in Gaza today came as no surprise. Israel had plenty of time to come up with alternate approaches for dealing with the protests, apart from firing live ammunition>>” B’Tselem does not provide recommendations for what such alternative approaches might include.
- On May 13, 2018, B’Tselem posted a letter from its Gaza field researcher, stating that “But the truth is that nowhere in Gaza is safe – whether near the border or in our own homes. Israeli planes can bomb any house, anywhere, at any moment. We all live in constant dread of something terrible happening. Everyone in Gaza lost a relative in the last wars. I lost my brother in the 2009 war.”
- On April 13, 2018, B’Tselem issued a position paper titled “If the heart be not callous: On the unlawful shooting of unarmed demonstrators in Gaza” discussing “why the orders given the soldiers, permitting live fire at unarmed civilians who do not pose a danger, are unlawful.“ B’Tselem accused Israel of “extensive whitewashing” and “Upholding the unlawful policy, despite the horrific results.”
- On April 5, 2018, B’Tselem launched a campaign called “Sorry Commander, I cannot shoot,” which featured newspaper advertisements urging soldiers to “refuse to open fire on unarmed demonstrators.”
- Posted a statement “Shooting unarmed demonstrators is illegal and the command that allows it is manifestly illegal” (emphasis added) claiming that “Armed soldiers and unarmed demonstrators are not ‘at war.’ The illegal open fire regulations and the compliance with them are the reason for the number of dead and injured today in the Gaza Strip.”
- States that “The Israeli military’s use of 100 snipers against unarmed Palestinian civilian protesters in the Gaza Strip is illegal. Live gunfire on unarmed civilians constitutes a brutal violation of the international legal obligation to distinguish between civilians and combatants. Israel is obligated to act in accordance with international law. Adalah will call for an investigation into those responsible for today’s deadly incident in Gaza and will demand that those found responsible for the killings be brought to justice” (emphasis added).
- In a tweet, Adalah further claimed that “#Israel breaching international #law by exercising deadly force against unarmed #Palestinian civilians in #Gaza / Coverage in @haaretzcom.”
- On May 15, 2018, tweeted “A full-page ad we published this morning in Israel’s most widely read newspaper, @YediotAhronot: The killing of 58 Gazans is the outcome of the occupation and our loss of moral leadership. As soldiers who served there, it’s clear to us: this is not how you disperse demonstrations.”
- On April 12, 2018, three Breaking the Silence employees signed a letter to The Guardian expressing “sorrow at Gaza shootings” stating “Instructing snipers to shoot to kill unarmed demonstrators who pose no danger to human life is another product of the occupation and military rule over millions of Palestinian people, as well as of our country’s callous leadership, and derailed moral path.”
- On May 15, 2018, retweeted CCR’s tweet, “BREAKING: On Nakba Day, Human Rights Groups Demand U.S. Halt Military Aid to Israeli Military Units That Killed and Injured Gaza Protesters. MORE:”
- On April 7, DCI-P tweeted: “Our investigation confirms Israeli forces killed 13-year-old Hussein Mohammad Adnan Madi in Gaza yesterday around 4 pm local time. He sustained a gunshot wound to the abdomen & was later pronounced dead at Shifa hospital. #GazaReturnMarch” and that “Yesterday, Israeli forces shot & killed 15-year-old Aladdin Yahia Ismail Zamili in Gaza around 6 pm local time. He sustained a gunshot wound to the neck and was later pronounced dead at Youssef Al-Najjar hospital in Rafah. #GazaReturnMarch.” On April 6, DCI-P tweeted: “Israeli forces shot dead Ibrahim Abu Sha’er on March 30. @DCIPalestine investigations confirmed he was 17 years old when he was killed, not 22 years as reported by news media. Under international law, any person below 18 years is considered a child. #GazaReturnMarch.”
- DCI-P did not question why children were present at the violent clashes on the border.
- On May 14, 2018, released a statement and tweeted “The death toll in Gaza is appalling and inexcusable. Gisha reiterates: International law prohibits the use of lethal force unless there is concrete risk to life, and even then, only as a last resort and to alleviate the risk. Stop the killing in Gaza now.”
- On April 15, 2018, Executive Director Tania Hary participated in a JStreet panel titled “Gaza: What Would it Take to Break the Cycle of Violence.” According to Hary, “Isolating Gaza purely for fragmentizing Palestinians, shooting unarmed protesters simply because they are a disturbance.. these things are out there. We have to rise to the challenge of confronting what undermines our values.”
- On April 12, 2018, Gisha tweeted a link to its publication titled “Behind the headlines: Gisha’s analysis of the situation in Gaza” stating that “Israeli politicians and officials depict recent events near the #Gaza border as a sudden threat initiated by Hamas. By doing so, they willfully obscure the wider context of Israel’s 50 years of control, culminating in a closure.”
- Ignores Israel’s sovereign right to defend its borders, stating “ Gisha expresses grave concern that the lethal force used yesterday in the Gaza Strip could have been avoided had the rules of engagement been dictated by international law rather than a desire to quash protest” (emphasis added).
- On April 15, 2018, these NGOs petitioned the High Court of Justice demanding that the “court order the cancellation of open-fire regulations allowing IDF soldiers to fire live ammunition at demonstrators who do not endanger the lives of soldiers on the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip.”
- On May 16, 2018, tweeted “MAP CEO @aimshalan in @NewStatesman “Our UK programme director and senior surgeons, here as part of an orthoplastic team, have all been in conflict zones before, but they say they have never seen injuries on the scale they saw yesterday [14 May].” https://www.newstatesman.com/world/middle-east/2018/05/thousands-casualties-one-day-gaza-s-health-system-dangerously-close …”
- On May 16, 2018, stated that “Since 30 March, 104 Palestinians, including 12 children, have been killed during the course of the ‘Great March of Return’ demonstrations and more than 12,271 injured by Israeli forces. Out of the injured 6,760 were transferred to hospital for treatment, including 3,598 (53 %) with gunshot wounds… These casualties resulted from a violent response by Israeli forces, including the use of live ammunition, rubber bullets and tear gas, to mass peaceful protests along the border, as Palestinian refugees demand the realisation of their right to return, as enshrined in international law.”
- On April 13, 2018, MAP called on the UK government and the international community for “independent investigations into the violence at the Gaza perimeter protests.” MAP provides a form email to send to MP’s calling to “take action and support international calls for independent investigations into the killing and injuring of Palestinian protesters, and accountability for violations of international law.”
- Stated that “15 Palestinians have been killed,” failing to note that at least ten were affiliated with Hamas.
- Condemned Israel’s deployment of troops to defend its border, stating that “Israel’s military positioned more than 100 snipers on the border with Gaza ahead of the planned demonstrations.”
- On April 1, MAP posted a press release stating that MAP “condemns the killing and injuring of unarmed civilians in Gaza…” The press release yet again ignores the context of violence and terror and disregards the fact that 10 of the 15 Palestinians killed were Hamas operatives. This failure to acknowledge new evidence demonstrates that MAP is more interested in promoting a particular narrative of the conflict than in accurate on reporting.
- On May 16, 2018, released a statement “World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit condemned use of excessive violence by Israeli forces against civilian protestors in Gaza during last week in which many have lost their lives or lost their loved ones, and is particularly worried that some Christians are celebrating the move of the US embassy to Jerusalem as a gift from God, despite the disruptively provocative nature of this move.”
- Ignoring the fact that the majority of deaths were part of the Hamas terrorist organization, states that “Tveit [WCC General Secretary] called for prayers and solidarity with the people of Gaza. ‘We pray for the victims and their families,’ he said, ‘and we seek God’s mercy, love and grace that we may be empowered with strength to continue our work for justice and peace.’”
- On April 12, 2018, these NGOs were a signatory on a statement by US Churches and Christian Agencies “support[ing] the Palestinian people as they courageously stand up for their rights. The groups called on the United States to “censure the violent and indiscriminate actions of the State of Israel in response to the demonstrations which in no way threaten the security of the state or its citizens, and to hold Israel appropriately accountable, ensuring that US aid isn’t used in ways that contravene established US and international laws, given the more than $3 billion in military aid the US disburses to Israel annually.”
- On May 16, 2018, tweeted ““Palestinians have no opportunity to get out of this cage. There’s no reason to be surprised that they are protesting. Diplomacy is failing. Both Palestinians and Israelis deserve to live in #peace!” @NRC_Egeland @BBCRadio4 #Gaza #Palestine”
- On May 14, 2018, tweeted “Palestinian children are bearing the brunt of Israeli violence. #Gaza #Palestine https://www.thenational.ae/opinion/comment/palestinian-children-are-bearing-the-brunt-of-israeli-violence-1.730412 … via @TheNationalUAE”
- Officials of the Norwegian Refugee Council including Jan Egeland (Secretary General) and Karl Schembri (NRC Media Advisor for the Middle East), posted numerous tweets condemning Israeli actions and promoting Palestinian allegations. In particular, the NRC focused on the death of Yassar Murtaja, who, it was claimed, was an innocent photo-journalist. According to Israeli reports, Murtaja, who operated photo drones smuggled into Gaza, was an officer in the Hamas terror structure. According to an April 9 NRC statement, “Yasser Murtaja…had agreed to document for NRC the bitter prolonged struggle faced by Palestinian refugees in Gaza. The work was planned to start the day after he was killed.”
- On May 14, 2018, published a statement “We, a group of U.S.-based human rights defenders known as the #JusticeDelegation, call on our communities, our allies, our representatives, and the international community to hold Israel accountable for its violent response to Palestinians’ call and march for freedom. We are outraged by the Trump administration’s licensing and enabling of illegal Israeli policies that only serve to escalate the conflict, including today’s moving of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem a day before the 70th anniversary of the Nakba.
- The statement further argued that “we stand with Palestinians living both in their homeland and all over the world in their struggle against settler colonialism, occupation, apartheid, racism, and ethnic cleansing. We call on the Israeli government to immediately end its illegal use of deadly force and violent crackdown on peaceful protesters and abide by international law protecting rights to life, peaceful assembly, and freedom of movement. Israeli officials who ordered unlawful lethal force should be subject to prosecution abroad as a matter of universal jurisdiction or in the International Criminal Court…”
- Tweeted that “We are deeply disturbed to learn of the deaths of 9 Palestinian protestors on Land Day in Gaza. We are monitoring coverage of the #GreatReturnMarch. For all those protesting in solidarity here: if you have a question about your rights, contact us,” ignoring the fact that the majority of Palestinians killed during Friday’s clashes were Hamas operatives.
- Tweeted: “Those ‘tragically deadly consequences’ were not inevitable. They were deliberate decisions by the IDF to use live rounds on peaceful protestors. The IDF killed 5 Palestinians and injured over 1000 others yesterday. Hamas did not” (emphasis added).
- Tweeted: “Don’t let anyone tell you that the violence the IDF committed yesterday was a response to Palestinian actions. By their own admission, it was always the plan. They have no strategy for peacefully dealing with mass nonviolent protest” (emphasis added).
- On May 16, 2018, tweeted “We are reading the names of every Palestinian killed in Gaza since the #Greatmarchofreturn began and laying poppies in the center of our circle. May their memory be a blessing. ¡Presente!” On the same day Hamas identified that 50 of the 62 killed on the violence over the weekend were members of the terrorist group.
- On May 16, 2018, tweeted “May their memory be a blessing.”
- On April 13, 2018, JVP called for people to contact Senator Gillibrand and urge her to “speak up for the rights of Palestinian protesters and lead with values for justice, equality, and dignity. #GreatReturnMarch.”
- JVP retweeted a tweet that lists “16 #Gaza victims,” and reads “Remember – and honor – those killed by Israeli military snipers while protesting in the #GreatReturnMarch” and another that reads “Palestinian names and lives are so often overlooked. Here are the names of 14 people shot and killed at the Gaza border by the Israeli army.” According to the IDF, 10 of these 16 individuals are Hamas terrorists.
- JVP tweeted “What a shameful statement. 15 dead. More than a thousand injured #GreatReturnMarch,” again ignoring the fact that at least ten of those killed were Hamas terrorists.
- JVP tweeted, “Thousands of Palestinian refugees in #Gaza march for #HumanRights as the Israeli military opens fire. The world supports the #GreatReturnMarch” (emphasis added).
- On April 7, 2018, AIDA released a statement “condemning Israel’s unlawful killing of civilians in Gaza” and called for an “independent and transparent investigation into the killing and injuring of civilians in the context of peaceful demonstrations, and for those responsible to be held to account.”
- On May 16, 2018, tweeted “Don’t let the killings of Palestinian #GreatReturnMarch protesters fade from the headlines or consciousness of US lawmakers; as taxpayers, we are all complicit. If you’ve already contacted your Member of Congress, do it again. Each time is tallied!”
- On May 16, 2018, tweeted “WATCH: Opening of US embassy in Jerusalem is a move that comes down to ‘essentially dancing on the graves of Palestinians, past and present,’ says @YousefMunayyer on @CBSNLive. #Nakba70 #GreatReturnMarch https://www.cbsnews.com/video/dozens-of-palestinians-killed-in-clashes-as-protests-continue-on-gaza-israel-border/ … via”
- On April 14, 2018, Executive Director Yousef Munayyer debated Danny Ayalon on Al Jazeera about “Israel’s deadly tactics against Palestinian protestors in Gaza.” According to Munayyer, “These protests are going to continue…They are inspiring for Palestinians who are looking at mass popular mobilisation as a way to continue to resist and demand their rights.”
- On April 13, 2018, USCPR called for Senator Gillibrand to “speak out for unarmed Palestinian demonstrators and journalists being shot by the Israeli army. Condemn the killings. Call for an investigation. The world needs your leadership!”
- On April 10, 2018, Munayyer tweeted: “The military calls the shooting of an unarmed, nonthreatening protester ‘exemplary’ but will discipline those who took and posted an unauthorized video of an operational event. You can’t make this up. They are saying, good job shooting protesters, next time don’t get caught.”
- USCPR launched a campaign to “hold Israel accountable for Gaza Land Day Massacre” stating that “Israel is expecting to act with impunity – again. But you can help hold it accountable for its excessive use of force against Palestinian demonstrators.” The campaign called for people to contact their members of Congress and “demand an investigation to hold Israel accountable.”
- On April 12, 2018, members of CodePink confronted U.N. Ambassador Niki Haley asking, “why are you blocking an investigation into the Israeli use of excessive force in Gaza?…Israel deserves to be held accountable just like any other country.”
- On April 13, 2018, EuroMed Rights and FIDH called on the European Union to “urge Israel to refrain from using lethal or excessive force against unarmed protesters.”
*Organizations with alleged links to the PFLP terrorist organization. See NGO Monitor’s report “The European-Funded NGO PFLP Network.”