[JURIST] US-based monitoring group Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] Saturday called on Hezbollah [CFR backgrounder] to immediately stop launching rockets into civilian areas [HRW statement] within Israel, saying their actions constitute "war crimes." The rights watchdog said Hezbollah's assertions that it is targeting military bases within Israel are offset by the fact that most attacks have been aimed at schools, hospitals and businesses. While HRW also released a report [text] earlier this week condemning Israel's attacks on Lebanese civilians [JURIST report] during the Middle East conflict [JURIST news archive], the group said that did not excuse Hezbollah's actions.
Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch, said:
Lobbing rockets blindly into civilian areas is without doubt a war crime. Nothing can justify this assault on the most fundamental standards for sparing civilians the hazards of war.VOA News has more.
Human Rights Watch has documented the Israeli militarys persistent use of indiscriminate force, which has killed hundreds of Lebanese civilians. But war crimes by one side in a conflict never justify war crimes by another. Hezbollah must stop using the excuse of Israeli misconduct to justify its own.