HRW: Hamas committed war crimes
An international human rights group stated there is "strong evidence" that Hamas committed war crimes by allowing fire rockets from the Gaza Strip, killing Israeli civilians. In a report issued Thursday, the Human Rights Watch focused on Hamas's actions during the war with Israel that ended in January 2009.
"Hamas rocket attacks targeting Israeli civilians are unlawful and unjustifiable, and amount to war crimes," said Iain Levine of Human Rights Watch.
According to Bill Van Esveld of Human Rights Watch, the intent of armed groups to harm civilians, and not numbers of people killed, determined whether they committed war crimes. According to the AP, Hamas violated international war rules by allowing fighters to launch rockets that either "deliberately or indiscriminately" targeted civilian areas.
On his part, Hamas spokesman Ismail Ridwan dismissed the report as "biased." "Hamas did not use human shields and did not fire rockets from residential areas. Hamas does not target civilians," Ridwan said.