Israel 'Violated Laws of War': Rights Group

Human Rights Watch says it targeted media in Gaza conflict

By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 20, 2012 8:59 AM CST

(Newser) – Israel broke the laws of war by targeting media facilities and journalists "that were making no apparent contribution to Palestinian military operations" during its November offensive against Gaza, Human Rights Watch argues in a statement released today. The group recorded four attacks by Israeli forces over the eight-day conflict that killed two Palestinian cameraman, injured 10 media members, and destroyed four media offices; a 2-year-old living adjacent to a targeted building died as well.

"Just because Israel says a journalist was a fighter or a TV station was a command center does not make it so," says the Mideast director of HRW. The Israeli military insists all of its attacks were "in accordance with the laws of armed conflict," reports the AP. The journalist advocacy group Reporters Without Borders yesterday reported that 2012 has been the deadliest year on record for journalists, with 88 killed around the world, largely because of conflicts in Syria, Pakistan, and Somalia. That's up by a third over last year, notes al-Jazeera.

Smoke and a ball of fire are seen after an Israeli air strike in Gaza City, Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012.
Smoke and a ball of fire are seen after an Israeli air strike in Gaza City, Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012.   (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)
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