17 August '10
Human Rights Watch (HRW) has published three reports this month critical of the Palestinian Authority (PA). First, this 101-page report faults the PA for failing to prevent violence against Palestinian women and girls. Next, HRW declared that the Palestinian Authority “should stop giving a wink and a nod to rocket attacks against civilians and take immediate steps to halt them.” And, one week ago, HRW issued this press release:
Calling civilians to a location that the opposing side has identified for attack is at worst human shielding, at best failing to take all feasible precautions to protect civilians from the effects of attack. Both are violations of international humanitarian law.
On Monday, the BBC reported that the IDF had warned Wael Rajab, an alleged Hamas member in Beit Lahiya, that that they were preparing to attack his home, and that a call was later broadcasted from local mosques for volunteers to protect the home.
“There is no excuse for calling civilians to the scene of a planned attack,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “Whether or not the home is a legitimate military target, knowingly asking civilians to stand in harm’s way is unlawful.”
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