Israeli attacks on Gaza journos 'unlawful'

2012-12-20 19:23

Gaza - Israel's killing of two Palestinian journalists and attacks on media facilities during its Gaza offensive last month violated the laws of war, Human Rights Watch said on Thursday.

Two cameramen working for al-Aqsa TV, a station affiliated with Gaza's Hamas-run government, were killed by Israeli air strikes on their car on 20 November.

Israeli planes also bombed a tower block housing many of Gaza's local and international media offices, in attacks that Israel said at the time targeted the communications infrastructure and personnel of militant groups.

"Just because Israel says a journalist was a fighter or a TV station was a command centre does not make it so," Sarah Leah Witson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch, said in a statement released by the New York-based organisation.

"Journalists who praise Hamas and TV stations that applaud attacks on Israel may be propagandists, but that does not make them legitimate targets under the laws of war," she said.

Human Rights Watch said at least 10 media workers were wounded in attacks on three buildings housing media facilities. A two-year-old boy who lived across the street from one of the buildings was killed, the organisation added.

Commenting on the group's statement, the Israeli military said it "acts in accordance with the laws of armed conflict, despite the ongoing deliberate violations and abuse of these laws by the terrorist organisations in the Gaza Strip".

"The details of the events mentioned in the report are being checked," the military said in a statement emailed to Reuters. "Once this process is complete, we will be able to provide a comprehensive response."

Some 170 Palestinians, mostly civilians, and six Israelis, including two soldiers, were killed during the offensive that Israel launched with the declared aim of curbing cross-border rocket fire.

  • larry.lachman.54 - 2012-12-20 19:39

    Just because Palestinian hand-wringing Human Rights Watch say the targeting of these journalists is against the Laws of War, does not make it so. Compared to the PERFIDY of placing civilians in harms way in order to achieve sympathy for Hamas and condemnation for Israel, which is a clear violation of the Laws of War, for which we hear nothing from these hypocritical Human Rights Watch bozo's.

      larry.lachman.54 - 2012-12-21 06:04

      To see how dumb you are, just re-read your first sentence above. Reads along the lines of: If you want cornflakes for breakfast - get rid of the cornflakes. What a shlemiel. Lesego/Patrick, for the truth on the Israel / Palestinian issue, go to

  • eugene.ngobeni.7 - 2012-12-20 19:50

    ....nd jews are loving every moment becoz they defend their state even if 90% of the time its wrong

  • Raymon - 2012-12-20 20:01

    Stop attacking Israel, then Israel will stop defending itself. Long live Israel!

  • Gorden Norman - 2012-12-20 20:31

    When Israel defends itself its unlawful. When Gaza fires rockets at Israel well that seems to be lawful. Israel thumbs up when attacked use maximum force to defend yourself.

      Gorden Norman - 2012-12-20 20:42

      @patrick :-) :-( likewise

  • renard.souza - 2012-12-22 07:04

    170 vs 6 the numbers speak for themselves. Surprise surprise

  • renard.souza - 2012-12-22 07:06

    @ Gordon how many rockets does it take to kill 6 Israelis? And how many bombs to kill 170 Palestinians?

  • dplessis - 2013-01-03 09:03

    SO I guess it's perfectly acceptable to HRW what is happening in ALL the other Middle Eastern countries to journalists and then in certain counties where the muslim faith dominates that people of other faiths are killed and prosecuted (persecuted?). The same for what is happening in a host of African and Asian countries. An organisation like HRW should acted evenhandedly if it wants credibility amongst all, not only from those who desire that the state of Israel is done away with. As a last input: the Palestinians or their political leaders are by no means victims, if they are they are extremely shrewd manipulators of public opinion.

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