Kenneth Roth, head of the US-based NGO Human Rights Watch (HRW), has been caught directly condoning Hamas war crimes on his Twitter account.
Blogger Elder of Ziyon on Tuesday revealed that early in the afternoon, roughly four hours before Hamas breached the ceasefire by firing rockets on Israel, Roth was busy trying to justify Hamas's attempts to abduct Israelis, either through a misunderstanding of international law or a wanton disregard for it.
"Can you tell if Hamas tunnel used to attack/capture combatant (IHL allows) or take hostage/attack civilian (illegal)?" tweeted Roth, along with a picture of Hamas terrorists in an infiltration tunnel; the tweet can be seen here.
Noting on the tweet, Elder of Ziyon points out that the Geneva Conventions in Article 34 expressly clarify that "the taking of hostages is prohibited." The commentary on that article specifies that the term "hostages," in contradiction to Roth's assertion, "must be understood in the widest possible sense."
Those defined as a hostage include "persons...at a given moment and in any manner whatsoever, (who) find themselves, in case of a conflict or occupation, in the hands of a Party to the conflict or Occupying Power of which they are not nationals," as specified in Article 4.
In fact, the rules would apparently not apply to Gaza residents, given that Article 4 continues "nationals of a State which is not bound by the Convention are not protected by it." It goes without saying that the Hamas enclave of Gaza, aside from not being a state, is not a signatory to the Conventions.
The International Committee of the Red Cross further comments that in the Geneva Conventions "there is no indication that the offence is limited to taking civilians hostage. Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions, the Statute of the International Criminal Court and the International Convention against the Taking of Hostages do not limit the offence to the taking of civilians, but apply it to the taking of any person."
"Ken Roth has proven, irrevocably, that he is unqualified for this position. He is actively campaigning against human rights. His stated position is simply immoral. His bias is clear to all," concludes Elder of Ziyon.
Hamas's terror tunnels into Israel were reportedly meant to be used in a plan to infiltrate the surrounding Jewish communities and massacre Israelis on Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year.
They were used lethally against soldiers at various junctures in Operation Protective Edge, and used to abduct the bodies of two soldiers, Second Lt.Hadar Goldin and First Sgt. Oron Shaul hy''d, which Hamas apparently is holding in an attempt to release terrorists.