In “Precisely Wrong: Gaza Civilians Killed by Israeli Drone-Launched Missiles” (June 30, 2009), Human Rights Watch uses the term “war crimes” 7 times, and the alleged attacks are termed “unlawful.” The case is entirely speculative, but the conclusions are stated with absolute assurance, as if the evidence was totally clear.
HRW emphasizes pseudo-technical and legal claims that are unfounded or irrelevant, but present the facade of expertise. Credible and verifiable evidence is not provided.
Military experts, including Robert Hewson of Jane’s Air-Launched Weapons and retired British colonel Richard Kemp, reject HRW’s “claims and assumptions about weapons and drones.”
On the legal issue of military necessity, the report takes at face value Palestinian claims of seeing no active Hamas fighters in the area of the alleged attacks. This speculation has been refuted, and is irrelevant if the targets were related to Hamas command and communications, weapons storage, or efforts to find kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit.
The text appears to reflect the authors’ lack of significant battlefield experience, particularly related to split-second decision making.
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