On May 24, 2022, CNN published an article alleging that evidence suggests that Shireen Abu Akleh was killed in targeted attack by Israeli forces. This inflammatory charge, which was vehemently denied by the IDF, relies heavily on claims made by Chris Cobb-Smith who has joined with the most politicized anti-Israel NGOs in pushing false or unsubstantiated accusations of Israeli violations of the laws of war.
Incoming co-chair Elmasry participated in a fundraising trip in May 2009 to Saudi Arabia, and Motley represented HRW at the notorious NGO Forum of the 2001 Durban Conference.
Gerald Steinberg challenges the white phosphorous claims of Human Rights Watch, highlighting the inherent lack of expertise regarding military operations and weapons.
This monograph analyzes the reporting of Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch regarding the 2008-2009 conflict in Gaza and southern Israel. Their factual and legal claims, particularly relating to Israel's use of White Phosphorus and UAVs, are considered in light of military sources, state doctrine, and the academic literature.The analysis demonstrates that many of the NGOs' factual claims are contradicted by expert sources, and that in numerous instances, their presentation of international law is inaccurate or incomplete.
HRWs allegation that Israeli forces deliberately killed Palestinian non-combatants who had surrendered is an incendiary moral indictment. Video and similar evidence that is inconsistent with the indictment is entirely missing from the HRW report. The report is based on inconsistent Palestinian testimony, claims copied from other NGOs, and irrelevant forensic evidence. In response to criticism, HRW issued a defensive press release that did not address the substantial flaws in its report. The inability to verify claims is inconsistent with definitive pronouncements on war crimes -- an accusation made 15 times in this report.