NGO refutes Amnesty report condemning Gaza blockade
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A Jerusalem-based NGO watchdog responded Thursday to the release of Amnesty International’s annual report, which once again blasted Israel over its blockade of the Gaza Strip and continued settlement expansion.
In the report, which was released on Wednesday, Amnesty International accused Israel of prolonging the humanitarian crisis in the Strip and highlighted continued settlement construction in the West Bank.
NGO Monitor, a research institution that analyzes statements and data put out by nongovernmental organizations regarding Israel, said Amnesty’s report took Israeli actions, such as the Gaza blockade, out of context. In a statement, the organization fired back: “[Amnesty International] ignores that Israel’s blockade was implemented to stop the smuggling of weapons and rockets used to target Israeli citizens.” NGO Monitor added that the UN Secretary General’s Palmer Committee declared in September 2011 that the blockade is legal under international law.
In its report, Amnesty also failed to mention the thousands of tons of goods provided by Israel to Gaza each week.
The watchdog group found that Amnesty’s report mentions Israel 137 times, while making only 74 mentions of the Syrian regime. Bashar Assad’s government has been engaged in a violent crackdown of a popular uprising that began over a year ago and has killed more than 9,000 people, according to UN estimates.
NGO Monitor refuted the annual report’s claims that Israel had “failed to conduct independent investigations into alleged war crimes by Israeli forces during Operation ‘Cast Lead.’” The watchdog cited Judge Mary McGowan Davis, who was authorized by the Human Rights Council to lead a follow-up committee to the Goldstone Report. McGowan Davis found that “Israel has dedicated significant resources to investigate over 400 allegations of operational misconduct in Gaza.”
According to NGO Monitor, “the false allegations and double standards in the Amnesty report reflect the employment of Deborah Hyams, whose history of anti-Israel activism is well documented.”