Amnesty International Denounces Hamas War Crimes

A long overdue accounting of some of the Palestinian-perpetrated atrocities in Gaza.

JS44529996The so-called human rights group Amnesty International, which frequently and unjustly criticizes Israel for defending itself against today’s modern-day Nazis, has issued another scathing report about this past summer’s war in Gaza involving the Israel Defense Forces and Hamas. However, in a surprising and refreshing turn of events, Amnesty International actually performed a genuine investigation and issued a biting indictment of the Hamas terrorist group.

The report, one of four issued by Amnesty International concerning the war, confirms that during hostilities Hamas engaged in extrajudicial summary executions and murdered at least 23 fellow Palestinians. Some of the killings were motivated by paranoia while others were carried out just to settle scores. In less than politically correct terms, it was “justice” Palestinian style.

The report highlighted one particularly macabre incident that occurred in full view of public spectators including children. On August 21, 2014 the Israeli Shin Bet intelligence service working in conjunction with air force and army units succeeded in liquidating three top Hamas honchos crucial to Hamas’s operational activities. The strike severely compromised Hamas’s ability to conduct field operations and in a more general sense, further undermined the morale of an already demoralized terrorist group.

A day following Israel’s demonstrated intelligence prowess, paranoid Hamas thugs dragged six bound and hooded Palestinians before a mosque, made them kneel and proceeded to riddle their already battered bodies with bullets. The spectacle was performed before a mix of curious onlookers and an approving crowd – some seen smiling and waving their hands excitedly – that reveled in the orgy of violence, an unfortunate cultural symptom of a depraved ideology that celebrates death and murder.

Another Amnesty International report issued at the end of March 2015 highlighted other egregious Palestinian crimes against humanity. These included indiscriminately firing rockets at civilian areas from areas inhabited by civilians.

Amnesty International’s director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme Philip Luther, noted with surprising candor that “Palestinian armed groups, including the armed wing of Hamas, repeatedly launched unlawful attacks during the conflict killing and injuring civilians,” and, “In launching these attacks, they displayed a flagrant disregard for international humanitarian law and for the consequences of their violations on civilians in both Israel and the Gaza Strip.”

One incident highlighted by Amnesty International’s March report bears special mention because it demonstrates Israel’s near-impossible position in asymmetrical warfare and typifies the cynical manner in which Israel’s enemies manipulate a pliant and often times hostile media to their advantage.

On July 28, 2014, 13 Palestinians, including 11 children, were killed following an explosion at the al-Shati refugee camp. The Amnesty International report concluded that the carnage was the result of a misfired Hamas rocket and had nothing to do with Israeli military activity but most media outlets at the time spared no effort in blaming Israel. AFP, for example, immediately claimed that the casualties were the result of an Israeli missile strike. Other media outlets, while noting Israeli denials, did so dismissively giving more credence to Palestinian sources in almost knee-jerk fashion.

Not all correspondents towed the party line, however. Some actually had the fortitude to tell the truth, risking life and limb as the price for doing so. Italian journalist Gabriele Barbati, tweeted “International journos say: feeling today's massacre in Shaati beach playground #gaza was misfired rocket by Hamas or factions,” and later added, “@IDFSpokesperson said truth in communique released yesterday about Shati camp massacre. It was not #Israel behind it.”

Barbati nearly paid for his tweet with his life after Hamas operatives noticed it. He was forced to flee Gaza and once on safe ground tweeted, “Out of #Gaza far from #Hamas retaliation: misfired rocket killed children y’day in Shati. Witness: militants rushed and cleared debris.”

Amnesty International also faulted Hamas for storing rockets and other munitions in civilian areas including UN schools. There were several documented cases involving these types of transgressions. In one memorable and almost comical moment, an unhinged Palestinian terror apologist, Diana Buttu, attempted to justify the placing of munitions in schools by claiming that “school was out.”

Amnesty International’s findings could not come at a more inopportune time for the Palestinians who have suffered huge public relations reversals in recent months. In February 2015, a federal jury found the PLO and the Palestinian Authority guilty of engaging in terrorism, awarding the U.S. plaintiffs $218.5 million. Under the U.S. Anti-terrorism Act, that award is automatically tripled to $655 million.

Amnesty International’s reports coupled with the federal court decision may very well torpedo Palestinian efforts to charge Israel for war crimes at the ICC. The Palestinians can no longer claim to be innocent actors and may find themselves facing a double-edged sword. But the more salient point is this; how can any responsible party advocate for the creation of a Palestinian state when those entrusted to govern such a state routinely engage in bestial acts of terrorism?

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