Human Rights Watch (HRW) issued its Annual Report on January 11, 2007. In the introduction, HRW criticizes the UN Human Rights Council for making a “mockery” of its founding principles by focusing excessively on condemnations of Israel. Yet HRW’s report also reflects a continuing pattern of unfounded and disproportionate criticism of Israel.
HRW uses the Annual Report to repeat many discredited claims, including that Israel launched "indiscriminate attacks” against civilians in Lebanon. HRW states that a majority of Lebanese dead were civilians (for which there is no reliable verification). It further claims that only 39 Israeli civilians were killed during the war, noticeably omitting any mention of Israeli military casualties. This minimisation of Israel’s losses, while magnifying the impact of Israeli military operations reflects the NGO’s long-standing bias.
Similarly, the Annual Report states that the IDF “repeatedly violated the laws of war,” yet fails to condemn Hezbollah for its extensive use of human shields, hiding of rockets and other weapons in houses, mosques, hospitals, schools, etc. It also inaccurately characterizes Israel’s separation barrier as a “Wall”; claims without evidentiary support that at least half of Palestinians killed in 2006 in Gaza were civilians; and makes no mention that international support to the Hamas-led PA was suspended by the international Quartet due to Hamas’ refusal to renounce violence, recognize Israel, or abide by previously signed international agreements.