Rights Group Report: Hamas Committed War Crimes

By JTA

Published August 06, 2009.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Rocket attacks launched from the Gaza Strip into Israel’s South amount to war crimes, Human Rights Watch said.

In a report issued Wednesday, the group said the indiscriminate nature of the rockets, the dense civilian population in the general area of where the rockets are aimed, and statements from the leadership of Gaza’s Hamas rulers and other groups make it clear that civilians are targeted.

Additionally, it said, effective Israeli defenses, including early warning systems, that have minimized the impact of the rockets do not mitigate the crimes.

“The repeated attacks have, over months and even years, taken a psychological toll on the population in areas close to Gaza,” the report said.

It said “the laws of war” prohibit attacks whose “primary purpose is to spread terror among the civilian population. Because of the rocket attacks, thousands of people have moved away from frequently targeted areas such as Sderot municipality.”

Israel’s much more forceful response was not pertinent to whether the attacks constituted war crimes, the report said.

“The purpose of the laws of war is not to create parity between parties to a conflict, or to assess their violations in light of their relevant capacities, but to minimize the harm to the civilian population,” Human Rights Watch said.

The group also has described Israeli actions during January’s Gaza Operation Cast Lead as war crimes. Israel launched the 3 1/2-week-old operation in a bid to halt rocket attacks from Gaza.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • "If you want my advice: more Palestinians, more checkpoints, just more reality." What do you think?
  • Happy birthday Barbra Streisand! Our favorite Funny Girl turns 72 today.
  • Clueless parenting advice from the star of "Clueless."
  • Why won't the city give an answer?
  • BREAKING NEWS: Israel has officially suspended peace talks with the Palestinians.
  • Can you guess what the most boring job in the army is?
  • What the foolish rabbi of Chelm teaches us about Israel and the Palestinian unity deal:
  • Mazel tov to Idina Menzel on making Variety "Power of Women" cover! http://jd.fo/f3Mms
  • "How much should I expect him and/or ask him to participate? Is it enough to have one parent reciting the prayers and observing the holidays?" What do you think?
  • New York and Montreal have been at odds for far too long. Stop the bagel wars, sign our bagel peace treaty!
  • Really, can you blame them?
  • “How I Stopped Hating Women of the Wall and Started Talking to My Mother.” Will you see it?
  • Taglit-Birthright Israel is redefining who they consider "Jewish" after a 17% drop in registration from 2011-2013. Is the "propaganda tag" keeping young people away?
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • Would you get to know racists on a first-name basis if you thought it might help you prevent them from going on rampages, like the recent shooting in Kansas City?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.