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