Little white (phosphorus) lies: Human Rights Watch conspires with Islamists to perpetrate incendiary blood-libel against Jews

According to the AP's Bradley Klapper, the International Red Cross acknowledged on Tuesday (13 Jan 09) that Israel has fired white phosphorus shells in its offensive in the Gaza Strip, but has no evidence to suggest the incendiary agent is being used improperly or illegally.

The bright-smoke creating agent is used to illuminate targets at night or create a smoke screen for day attacks, said Peter Herby, the head of the organization's mines-arms unit.

"In some of the strikes in Gaza it's pretty clear that phosphorus was used," Herby told The Associated Press. "But it's not very unusual to use phosphorus to create smoke or illuminate a target. We have no evidence to suggest it's being used in any other way."

Herby said that using phosphorus to illuminate a target or create smoke is legitimate under international law, and that there was no evidence the Jewish state was intentionally using phosphorus in a questionable way, such as burning down buildings or consciously putting civilians at risk.

Dr. Peter Grossman, president of the Grossman Burn Center in Sherman Oaks, California, who stated that "it is not possible to tell, based on pictures of burns, whether white phosphorus was responsible."

Reporters and reports emanating from Gaza are at the discretion of Hamas state-propagandist censors. These propgandists have been exposed as unreliable sources and gatekeepers (read the Second Draft and The Augean Stables.com) controling journalists and deciding what they may disseminate and how. Hamas press-managers not only lie (and intmidate journalists from respectable agencies into lying) but even to fabricate false casualty damage situations for photography & videography. This is augmented by a cadre of western accomplices, such as Palestinian-biased Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO's), like Human Rights Watch, and individuals, like Norwegian political propagandist, Dr. Mads Gilbert, from Gaza hospitals' emergency rooms.

Though it may be difficult to accept, experience has proven that information coming through Palestinian-influenced gateways cannot be relied upon for truthfulness. And the biased NGO's are complicit in fabricating "news."

NGO-Monitor.org exposes the agenda bias of several sources reporting condemnation of Israel in Gaza. Condemning HRW's PR campaign alleging Israel's unlawful use of white phosphorus weaponry:

"HRW's large budget, and its media access via the "halo effect" results in the amplification of these reports in the press and through other NGOs, without independent investigation or verification. HRW's disproportionate focus on this issue diverts attention from the far more significant aspects of the conflict such as Hamas' systematic and illegal use of human shields, indiscriminate rocket attacks targeting Israeli civilians, and Iran's role in fomenting the crisis."

1) The number of HRW statements, their focus, and type of language used is far more intense than the organization's calls on Hamas to stop its use of human shields and of indiscriminate rocket attacks aimed at Israeli civilians (including white phosphorus weapons) -- both war crimes under international humanitarian law.
2) HRW's claims, as examined below, are inconsistent and not subject to verification, following a pattern of political and ideological attacks in the 2006 Lebanon war (including false claims disseminated by HRW in the Qana incident), and in other examples, as documented by NGO Monitor (see examples at the end of this report).
3) HRW's "evidence" is based upon innuendo and "eyewitness" reports. One report states that "[o]n January 9, Human Rights Watch researchers on a ridge overlooking Gaza from the northwest observed multiple air-bursts of artillery-fired WP that appeared to be over the Gaza City/Jabaliya area. In addition, Human Rights Watch has analyzed photographs taken by the media on the Israel-Gaza border." HRW does not name its researchers; it does not provide the exact location of its observation; nor does it identify the photos it "analyzed" making independent verification of this "evidence" impossible.
4) The use of flares to assist search and rescue forces and for similar purposes saves lives of injured soldiers and prevents Hamas from kidnapping the bodies of dead soldiers, as has happened in the past, and are legal under all international weapons conventions. If indeed such use occurred, to claim that such operations are somehow illegal or immoral is, in itself, immoral."
In "Human Rights Watch: White (phosphorous) lies," Bar Ilan University's Political Science Department Chairman, Gerald M. Steinberg condemns the phenomenon in The Jerusalem Post 17 Jan 09:
... the important point was that the Human Rights Watch images fit the dominant narrative of Israel as always guilty of war crimes, and of the Palestinians (or, in the 2006 Second Lebanon War, Hizbullah) as innocent victims.
In this campaign, HRW was joined by Amnesty International, B'Tselem and the Palestinian Center for Human Rights. The latter two are funded by the European Union, ostensibly to promote democracy and human rights.

When Hamas launched a phosphorus shell into Israel, these organizations, including HRW, were silent, as has been the case regarding the use of human shields in Gaza and other real war crimes." "In this way, HRW and other self-proclaimed human rights organizations have contributed a great deal to undermining the moral basis of morality and international law. Instead of repeatedly calling for 'independent investigations' of Israel, the donors to HRW need to undertake an investigation of how this once-serious organization has been destroyed from within.

Kim Sengupta: Claims that Israel is using white phosphorus illegally won't go away
... However, asked on Wednesday specifically whether there was evidence of injuries to civilians caused by such weapons, the president of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Jakob Kellenberger, who had just returned from a trip to Gaza City said his organisation had found "no evidence" of that. He added: "We have officials at Shifa Hospital and they have not come across injuries which could be proved to be from white phosphorus. This is just from one hospital, but it is the largest hospital in Gaza."