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IDF kills Palestinian kids without recourse, claims Human Rights Watch

The anti-Israel non-governmental organization Human Rights Watch released the investigation, titled "West Bank: Spike in Israeli Killings of Palestinian Children," on Aug. 28.

Tirana Hassan, executive director of Human Rights Watch. Credit: Allison HRW via Wikimedia Commons.
Tirana Hassan, executive director of Human Rights Watch. Credit: Allison HRW via Wikimedia Commons.

Israeli forces routinely kill Palestinian children “with virtually no recourse for accountability.” Its allies should pressure it to stop that “routine unlawful use of lethal force,” and the secretary-general of the United Nations should list the Israel Defense Forces in the annual U.N. report on violations against children.

These are some of the main claims of an investigation by Human Rights Watch, an anti-Israel non-governmental organization, published on its website on Aug. 28.

“Israeli forces are gunning down Palestinian children living under occupation with increasing frequency,” stated Bill Van Esveld, the group’s associate children’s rights director, on its website. “Unless Israel’s allies, particularly the United States, pressure Israel to change course, more Palestinian children will be killed.”

Human Rights Watch states that it conducted in-person interviews with seven witnesses, nine family members and “residents, lawyers, doctors, staff and fieldworkers at Palestinian and Israeli rights groups,” as well as reviewing closed-circuit television and videos posted on social media, Israeli security agency statements, medical records and news reports.

The only news outlet that the piece names is Haaretz. It links once each to articles in The New York Times, Al Jazeera and Reuters, and several times to Haaretz and Times of Israel.

“Following a failed campaign by anti-Israel NGOs to get the IDF included on a U.N. blacklist of child rights abusers, Human Rights Watch makes another attempt with their new report,” wrote NGO Monitor. “Echoing terror-linked NGOs like Defense for Children Palestine and Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, Human Rights Watch falsely accuses Israel of ‘gunning down Palestinian children.'”

“The Human Rights Watch report cites several examples of Palestinian minors who were killed, ignoring publicly available evidence of their terror affiliations [and] failing to condemn their participation in violent acts during the time of their death,” NGO Monitor added.

Arsen Ostrovsky, CEO of the International Legal Forum, called the allegations that Israel systematically targets Palestinian children “outrageous” and “just the latest and most obscene display yet in their unvarnished anti-Israel bias.”

“Contrary to Human Rights Watch’s malicious lies and gross distortions of truth and law, Israeli security forces only target Palestinian terrorists,” Ostrovsky stated.

“If Human Rights Watch truly cared about the welfare of Palestinian children, it would call out Palestinian terror groups for using Palestinian children as human shields,” he added. “The Palestinian Authority continues to create a systematic infrastructure of incitement and glorification of violence.”

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