AMNESTY’S RE­SEARCH

The Jewish Chronicle - - Comment & Analysis -

NGO Mon­i­tor’s claim that Amnesty In­ter­na­tional’s con­dem­na­tions of Is­raeli mil­i­tary ac­tions are not based on orig­i­nal re­search is en­tirely wrong ( Me­dia, Oc­to­ber 3). In­deed, re­gard­ing the ex­am­ple cited by Alex Brummer — the death of Reuters cam­era­man Fadel Shana — Amnesty re­searchers were in the Oc­cu­pied Pales­tinian Ter­ri­to­ries at the time and car­ried out re­search into this man’s killing.

We stand by our view that the Is­raeli army was wrong to jus­tify fir­ing at an un­armed jour­nal­ist. And surely most rea­son­able sup­port­ers of Is­rael must feel con­cerned at the use of “flechette” shells — a mu­ni­tion that sprays up to 5,000, 5cm-long steel darts (or flechettes) over an area as big as a foot­ball pitch — against un­armed civil­ians. In this case, two Pales­tinian chil­dren were also killed.

To be sure, no sin­gle body, NGO or oth­er­wise, should be taken on trust in any con­flict. Here, as in sim­i­lar sit­u­a­tions, Amnesty’s find­ings back up those of other NGOs, both Is­raeli and in­ter­na­tional. NGO Mon­i­tor, for its part, has pro­vided no ev­i­dence to dis­prove th­ese find­ings or to sub­stan­ti­ate al­le­ga­tions that Amnesty — or Is­raeli and in­ter­na­tional NGOs doc­u­ment­ing abuses in Is­rael and the ter­ri­to­ries — are “bi­ased”.

Amnesty will con­tinue to speak out against all hu­man-rights abuses, whether com­mit­ted by Pales­tinian mil­i­tants against Is­raeli civil­ians or by Is­raeli forces against Pales­tini­ans. Kate Allen Di­rec­tor, Amnesty In­ter­na­tional UK New Inn Yard, Lon­don EC2A

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