(Jerusalem) –  Jerusalem-based research organization NGO Monitor today noted the importance of the Israeli Foreign Ministry’s (MFA) publication of the 164 page report, “The Operation in Gaza:  Factual and Legal Aspects”.  The evidence presented in this report is central in examining biases and the façade of research methodology in more than 500 NGO statements during and after the recent Gaza conflict.

“The Operation in Gaza: Factual and Legal Aspects” restores the wider context of the conflict, including details of the “12,000 rockets and mortar shells” fired at Israeli civilians from 2000 to 2008.  It also examines the distorted NGO versions of International Humanitarian Law, while presenting “the principles of distinction and proportionality” that guided Israeli military actions.

On the central issue of human shields, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch claimed to have no evidence of Hamas’ utilization of this illegal practice. In contrast, the MFA report quotes Hamas operatives who acknowledged rocket fire from schools and describe incidents “in which Hamas activists requested children to wheel carts laden with rockets, in case IDF forces noticed them.” Numerous examples are provided, including televised boasts from a Hamas legislator for having encouraged women, children and the elderly to form human shields to protect military sites against Israeli attack.  Similarly, this report provides a detailed examination and refutation of many of the NGO reports regarding the use of white phosphorous.

NGO Monitor’s Executive Director, Prof Gerald Steinberg said, “For years, NGOs have mixed false claims, pure speculation, and bias in their ‘research reports’, without responses from the Israeli government. This detailed report represents a fundamental change, presenting a point-by-point refutation of NGO allegations, including white phosphorous use and denial of use of human shields by Hamas. The burden of proof has shifted to the NGOs, which must now provide evidence for their claims that is more credible than testimony from Palestinians and a handful of anonymous Israeli soldiers.”

Editors Notes:

Other recent publications and reports by NGO Monitor include:-

The NGO Front in the Gaza War – Feb 5, 2009

HRW’s “Rain of Fire”: Neither Thorough Nor Impartial
– April 2, 2009

Amnesty’s Gaza “Report”: Abolishing Israel’s Right to Self-Defense
– Feb 25, 2009