Trusting organizations like Human Rights Watch and Amnesty has been difficult after reading their recent reports and releases on the war with Hizbullah. The Jerusalem Post ran this editorial a couple of days ago and it’s worth a read.
In at least one instance, the new evidence is damning. On August 16, Hassan Fattah reported in The New York Times on the return of Lebanese civilians to the village of Srifa (spelled Sreifa by the Times). The following sentences are particularly striking: “Hussein Kamaleldin, a local official … estimated that up to two-thirds of the town’s homes and buildings were demolished, leaving more than 43 people buried in the rubble. A majority of them were fighters belonging to Hizbullah and the allied Amal Party, residents said.”
This contrasts sharply with the claims of Human Rights Watch (HRW) that Israel had no legitimate military targets in Srifa and killed only Lebanese civilians, a claim that has played a starring role in HRW’s attacks on the state of Israel throughout the month-long war in Lebanon.
On August 3, Human Rights Watch issued a 50-page report and accompanying statement accusing Israel of the war crime of “hav[ing] systematically failed to distinguish between combatants and civilians in their military campaign against Hizbullah in Lebanon,” and quoting executive director Kenneth Roth as attacking Israel’s “disturbing disregard for the lives of Lebanese civilians.”