[Opinion] Human Rights Watch Ignores Critical Aspects of Gaza Riots

Becca Wertman  Click for Full Article






While attempting to disguise itself within a peaceful protest, the violence taking place along the Gaza-Israel border is nothing of the sort. Organized by Hamas, and joined by Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terror groups, the “March of Return” event, as stated by a Hamas leader, “affirms that our people can’t give up one inch of the land of Palestine” – reiterating the terror group’s continued rejection of a State of Israel within any border.

What is more is that Hamas has incentivized violence along the border – including encouraging individuals to throw stones and Molotov cocktails, plant explosive devices, and destroy the border fence to infiltrate Israel to carry out attacks – by providing $500 to anyone injured and $3,000 to “martyrs.”

Hamas calls for the presence of women and children, hoping that if they are caught in the crossfire, it will secure a public relations victory.

Therefore, it is surprising that groups claiming to uphold universal human rights chose to ignore these crucial aspects. Human Rights Watch (HRW) is a stark case in point.

On April 2, Human Right Watch’s (HRW)Israel and Palestine director Omar Shakir tweeted that his followers should “stay tuned” as HRW was “investigating Israel’s killings of demonstrators in Gaza…” (referring to the March 30 riots that resulted in 14 deaths) and that it would be releasing its findings the next day. Shakir’s preview notably omitted any mention of an investigation of Hamas’ clearly stated plan to storm and breach the border, thereby promoting bloodshed on both sides.

HRW’s resulting report echoes Shakir’s outrageous bias. The sources relied upon, the lack of verified evidence, and the erasing of the context of the event is simply an utter disgrace to the field of human rights research and advocacy.

For instance, the publication relies on allegations from fringe activists, ones that promote and share violent Hamas videos memorializing terrorist attacks and others that display a “100 metre map of Palestine” that encompasses the entire State of Israel, the West Bank and Gaza.