The Palestinian leadership lashed out at a report by a prominent international rights group that denounced suicide bombers as "war criminals" and said the Palestinian Authority (PA) bore heavy responbility for not stopping them.
A top advisor to Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat condemned the report by the US-based Human Rights Watch, arguing that Israel's occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip was behind suicide bombings.
"We strongly criticize the report's content, especially those passages that say the president (Arafat) and the PA bear the responsibility," for suicide attacks, Nabil Abu Rudeina told AFP. Abu Rudeina noted Friday that "the occupation is entirely responsible for everything that occurs and it must be ended."
"We demand that Human Rights Watch also criticize the occupation, which leads to those (suicide) operations and criticize the Jenin and Rafah massacres caused by that very occupation," he added.
Hamas and Islamic Jihad also slammed the rights watchdog. HRW's "way of thinking is Zionist and one-sided," charged Islamic Jihad official Mohammed al-Hindi. "The report speaks the same language as (Israeli Prime Minister Ariel) Sharon and the Israeli extremists," he said.
A top Hamas spokesman described the report as "exactly biased toward the Zionist enemy." "It omits every crime committed by Israel" against the Palestinians, said Abdelaziz Rantissi, adding that he saw "a suspect Zionist hand" in this report. (Albawaba.com)
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