Reports & Researches

What has not been said in Amnesty International's

What has not been said in Amnesty International's

latest Report on the events of summer 2014 in Gaza


The efforts of Amnesty International (AI) are undeniably significant in monitoring the developments in Palestine and other regions of the world, especially with the wide impact of its reports within the international diplomatic, political and legal circles. Nonetheless, AI's latest reports on the events of summer 2014 in Gaza Strip, entitled "Unlawful and deadly: Rocket and mortar attacks by Palestinian armed groups during the 2014 Gaza/Israel conflict" does not reflect keenness on impartial and comprehensive documentation. The report argues that the Palestinian armed factions committed acts that can be classified as war crimes from two perspectives: the first is that it launched rockets randomly against civilian Israelis, and the second is that it launched a rocket that accidently hit Al-Shati' refugee camp in the Strip, which led to the death of 13 Palestinian children according to an independent munitions expert, as per AI's document. The report concludes that the acts of the Palestinian armed factions "demonstrate what is, at best, a reckless disregard for the lives of civilians in Israel, as well as a consistent failure to take all feasible precautions to protect civilians in Gaza from the effects of attacks"; and calls for urgently suspending all transfers of arms, munitions, weapons and military equipment to Israel and Palestinian armed groups.

Hence, the next question raised by the report's conclusions is that: What are the other alternatives for the Gaza Strip under the heavy and indiscriminate Israeli shelling and bombardments? The report's arguments are true but they fail to accurately reflect the broader context and to document the wider scenario; especially as it equates between the occupation and the occupied, and calls for suspending arms flow to both, while in fact, the Israeli arms industry is a leading world exporter of military supplies and advanced military technologies, and also in fact, the Gaza Strip does not include even a port that does export or import any item!.

            The Organization's report does not point out to the notable improvement in the performance of the Palestinian resistance, where the majority of the causalities by the resistance rockets were soldiers (63 Israeli soldier according to the Israeli official reports), contrasted to the 2,400 civilian Palestinians killed by the Israeli army during the same events. AI's report skips this fact to leave thus an inaccurate impact towards what has been the situation actually on ground.

The report also addresses the need for storing arms, explosives and ammunition in areas that are distant from civilian communities, but it does not suggest where actually taking into consideration that high population density [among the highest if not the highest in the world] in the Gaza Strip? As if the report is impliedly urging for the disarmament of the resistance forces in Gaza Strip, in facing an inhumane and heavily armed fierce Occupation. And if it is possible that this is a misreading, we would be grateful for further clarifications by Amnesty.


Beirut, 31/3/2015

Dr. Mahmoud El-Hanafi

Director of the Palestinian Association for Human Rights (Witness)