Human Rights Watch on Thursday dismissed Hamas' claims that the latter did not target civilians during Israel's Gaza war over a year ago. "Hamas' claim that rockets were intended to hit Israeli military targets and only accidentally harmed civilians is belied by the facts," the New York-based group said, according to AFP.
HRW issued its statement after the Palestinian movement said its investigations of allegations in a UN report on the Gaza war found that they and other Palestinian armed groups "struck military targets and avoided civilian targets." According to HRW, most of the rocket attacks on Israel hit civilian areas. "Civilians were the target," the rights group said, adding that "deliberately targeting civilians is a war crime."
The UN report into the 22-day war published in September also said the firing of rockets at southern Israel deliberately targeted civilians and could constitute a crime against humanity. HRW rejected claims Hamas made during the war that attacks against Israeli civilians were justified reprisals for attacks on Palestinians and lawful resistance against occupation.