AJC Slams Amnesty Report on IDF Actions in West Bank

Feb 27, 2014, 16:28 ET from American Jewish Committee

NEW YORK, Feb. 27, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AJC sharply criticized Amnesty International for its new report on Israeli military activities in the West Bank.

"Sadly but tellingly, starting with the title, this Amnesty International report has all the hallmarks of those groups that excel in lambasting, with what can only be described as calculated bias, the State of Israel," said AJC Executive Director David Harris.

The Amnesty report, "Trigger-Happy: Israel's Use of Excessive Force in the West Bank," was issued today. It accuses Israel of "war crimes," asserting that the IDF has used "excessive force to stifle dissent and freedom of expression" among Palestinians in the West Bank over the past three years. Amnesty also calls on the U.S. and EU to stop supplying Israel with military equipment.

"Amnesty's skewed perspective not only grotesquely ignores the immense security challenges Israel faces, but also disregards the fact that right now Israeli and Palestinian leaders are engaged in direct negotiations to end the conflict," said Harris.

"We certainly hope the quest for a two-state agreement will be successful. Meanwhile, it is irresponsible for Amnesty International to focus almost exclusively on Israeli actions, as if they somehow occur in a vacuum, and to disregard the precipitating actions of those Palestinians who have continued to plan and use violence even as the peace talks continue," Harris added. "Moreover, Amnesty's call for a curb on weapons sales to Israel will surely be welcomed by the leaders of Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and other state and non-state actors openly committed to Israel's destruction."

According to the IDF, the number of Israelis injured by Palestinians in 2013 was double from the previous year, and terrorist attacks, some fatal, also increased. "In 2013, there were 66 terror attacks, which included shootings, the planting of IEDs [improvised explosive devices], blunt weapon attacks, and the abduction and murder of a soldier," the IDF spokesman stated.

SOURCE American Jewish Committee