Occupied Territories: Stop Use of Children in Suicide Bombings
(New York, November 3, 2004) -- Palestinian armed groups should immediately end all use of children in military attacks, Human Rights Watch said today, following a Tel Aviv suicide bombing by a 16-year-old that killed three Israeli civilians Monday.
“Any attack on civilians is prohibited by international law, but using children for suicide attacks is particularly egregious,” said Jo Becker, children’s rights advocacy director at Human Rights Watch. “Palestinian armed groups must clearly and publicly condemn all use of children under the age of 18 for military activities, and make sure these policies are carried out.”
Aside from noting by-the-way that "any attack on civilians is prohibited by international law," Human Rights Watch doesn't seem terribly concerned with the continuing terror attacks against Israeli civilians - so long as they're committed by consenting adults! The Palestinian "armed groups" aren't called on to end such attacks in general - and the Palestinian Authority is not, even implicitly, called on to try to prevent them.
Israel is, however, criticized for endangering minors:
Human Rights Watch further called on Israel to take effective measures to protect the lives of all civilians, particularly children. During the October incursions of the Israeli army into Gaza one quarter of the more than 130 Palestinians killed were aged 18 years and under.
"All civilians, particularly children"! From the first half of the press release, it's abundantly clear that Palestinian children are not necessarily civilians; they may well be combatants. How many of the "children" killed in October were participating in the fighting at the time? HRW doesn't even ask the question.
Do they realize press releases like this one undermine their own credibility on human rights?