Pseudo-Investigations in Gaza
(dailyalert.org, Aug.22, 2014)
Media reports indicate that officials from Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch (HRW) have attempted to enter Gaza in order to conduct “independent investigations” into the July 2014 conflict, claiming that they possess “the requisite professional military knowledge to independently evaluate claims being made by both the Palestinians and Israelis.”
In contrast, the evidence clearly demonstrates that neither Amnesty International nor HRW is capable of conducting independent, unbiased, and credible investigations, particularly in the context of intense conflict, and environments where information is strictly controlled and manipulated by groups like Hamas. Neither NGO abides by international fact-finding standards such as the Lund-London Guidelines adopted by the International Bar Association. In addition to the lack of objectivity, their research processes are entirely non-transparent and not subject to accountability or independent verification.
Officials from Amnesty and HRW are not trained professionals in criminal and military investigations and forensics, do not possess the requisite expertise, and do not produce findings that would be admissible in legal proceedings. Indeed, Amnesty’s head of field investigations, Donatella Rovera, acknowledges the unreliability and limitations of NGO investigations in conflict zones: “In Gaza, I received partial or inaccurate information by relatives of civilians accidentally killed in accidental explosions or by rockets launched by Palestinian armed groups towards Israel that had malfunctioned and of civilians killed by Israeli strikes on nearby Palestinian armed groups’ positions. When confronted with other evidence obtained separately, some said they feared reprisals by the armed groups” (April 2014). (NGO Monitor)