(Jerusalem) – Jerusalem based research organization NGO Monitor highlighted a number of anticipated problems and inconsistencies in advance of Human Rights Watch’s (HRW) release of the report “Civilians Killed Holding White Flags in Gaza”.

  • The report is HRW’s third lengthy publication condemning IDF actions during the Gaza conflict (following allegations over white phosphorous and drones), in five months.
  • Timed only one week after HRW’s release of a publication critical of Hamas, the ‘white flags’ report seems designed to shift the focus back onto condemning Israel. This theme was reported as central in the HRW fundraising event in Riyadh in May 2009.
  •  The ‘white flags’ report describes seven supposed incidents, an entirely insufficient basis for accusations of systematic war crimes.
  • Should the ‘white flags’ report follow a similar pattern to HRW allegations in “Rain of Fire” (on white phosphorous) and “Precisely Wrong” (on drones), it is likely to be based wholly on speculation, unprovable Palestinian claims and unreliable ‘evidence’ from politicized NGOs.
  • HRW’s allegations against Israel over ‘white flags’ incidents during the Second Lebanon War proved to be false. In one case HRW claimed no Hezbollah presence as the IDF allegedly killed 3 and wounded 14 civilians fleeing in a van in Kafra while they “waved a white flag”. Independent analysis showed that Hezbollah admitted flying white flags to prevent IDF attacks, 17 rockets were fired from within Kafra village houses and Hezbollah regularly transported arms in vans.

NGO Monitor’s President Prof Gerald Steinberg said, “The release of a third lengthy publication condemning Israel over Gaza within the space of a few months, is reflective of HRW’s Israel obsession. Its timing, only a week after criticizing Hamas, confirms that this was no more than a token attempt by HRW to display artificial balance. If the methodology and ideology repeat past ‘reports’, this will be more evidence of HRW’s moral collapse in promoting the agendas of Hamas and Hezbollah.”

Editors Notes:

Please click here to view the NGO Monitor review of HRW’s 2008 activities.

Other recent publications and reports by NGO Monitor include:

Absolutely Wrong:  Analysis of HRW Report, “Precisely Wrong”
– Aug 6, 2009

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

Amnesty and HRW Lebanon War Claims Discredited
– Dec 28, 2006