Dec 6, 2006 12:50 am


Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook of Palestinian Media Watch report:"EU-funded Palestinian"human rights" group sanctions terror and murder of Israeli civilians.

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) presents itself as a legitimate human rights organization. Indeed, it is perceived as such internationally, and receives funding from the EU's European Commission, Ireland, Denmark, Norway, the Ford Foundation and others (see listing below).

However, Palestinian Media Watch's examination of PCHR's statements has revealed an alarming pattern of defending terrorists and their activities. Two recent press releases, both this week and last month, chide terrorist groups for their carelessness in implementing terrorism against Israel - but only because their military activities targeting Israeli civilians have been carried out from Palestinian civilian populated areas, resulting in Palestinian civilian casualties.

Worse still, PCHR goes beyond the impropriety of ignoring the Israeli casualties from these often-deadly terror attacks - which have killed three Israeli children under the age of four and other civilians in the last year. PCHR expressly supports the idea of the "military activities" continuing, even though these attacks have been targeting Israeli civilians, as long as the terrorists pick their launching spots to avoid Palestinian casualties.

Last month Palestinian terrorists launched rocket attacks aimed at civilians in the Israeli city of Sderot. These terror attacks failed: One rocket hit a Palestinian hospital and another hit a home, killing a Palestinian child and injuring nine others.

In response, the PCHR issued a lengthy press release, criticizing the terrorists - not because they launched rockets at Israeli civilians, but because of their "repeated mistakes;" that is, hitting Palestinian civilians instead of Israeli civilians.

Moreover, the self-proclaimed "human rights" organization went so far as to expressly support continued terror against civilians. In the final paragraph, instead of condemning the attacks that have been killing Israeli children, they placed conditions on these attacks: Future attacks should be launched from an acceptable place:

"PCHR ... calls on them ['the resistance'] to abstain from launching any military activities from inside or near civilian areas..."

The PCHR's practise of attaching the label of "resistance fighters" to terrorists whose missiles have been exclusively targeting civilians is likewise an improper term for a group defending "human rights."

This week the pattern continued when an explosion of a Hamas weapons cache located in a residential area killed four Palestinian civilians. The PCHR release ended with another statement sanctioning terror:

"PCHR reminds the Palestinian resistance groups of their duties towards the protection of civilians, and calls upon them to abstain from conducting any military activity inside or near residential areas...

"PCHR also condemns the use of violence and weapons to express anger and frustration."

The total PCHR message, then, is that terror attacks on Israeli civilians are acceptable "resistance" - as long as they are launched away from Palestinian civilians and as long as they kill only Israelis. Consistent with this ideology, none of the press releases on the PCHR website expresses condemnation for any rocket attacks that have hit their civilian targets and killed Israeli civilians, including young children.

Palestinian Media Watch research has likewise found that PCHR falsifies news items to fit its political anti-Israel political agenda.

One example is the July 16 press release, issued after Israel killed three Palestinian terrorists. While all three Palestinian dailies identified the dead as belonging to Hamas or Islamic Jihad, the PCHR falsely reported in its press release that is was only Israel who "alleged" their membership in the "resistance groups": "The IOF [Israeli Occupation Forces] state" that they "belong to the military wing of Hamas."

This distortion allowed PCHR to mask the true identities of the terrorists and give support to its fallacious assertion that Israel was targeting "civilians." The title of their press release stressed this lie: "IOF [Israeli Occupation Forces] Escalate Attacks on Civilian Targets."

In addition, PCHR's definition of Hamas and Islamic Jihad - groups that specialize in suicide terror against civilians and who are on the terror lists of America and European countries - as "resistance groups" raises yet more questions regarding PCHR's status as a legitimate "human right" organization.

Falsifying a news report to defame Israel is not Palestinian human rights but Palestinian propaganda. Instructing terrorists to protect Palestinian civilians while continuing to launch rocket and other attacks on Israeli is not defending human rights, but rather defending and promoting terror.

European and American Donors

PCHR's website indicates that it is funded in Europe by:

The European Commission

The Swedish Chapter of the International Commission of Jurists

Oxfam Netherlands

Christian Aid (UK)

Dan Church Aid (Denmark)

Ireland Aid

The Royal Danish Representative Office to the PA

The Representative Office of Norway to the PA

Donors from the US include:

The Ford Foundation

The Open Society Fund

Grassroots International

PCHR holds "Special Consultative Status" with the UN's Economic and Social Council.

This seems to be yet another example of the growing number of documented cases in which well-meaning Western organizations fund Palestinian projects and organizations that either directly or indirectly promote, support or honor terrorists.

PCHR Press Releases

This week's PCHR press release, issued after the weapons cache exploded, reaches this conclusion:

"PCHR remains gravely concerned at the continued storage of explosives in civilian populated areas by Palestinian resistance groups, which endangers the lives of Palestinian civilians and violates their right to life."
[PCHR press release, Spetember 6, 2005]

This is followed by an admonition to the "resistance groups" not to conduct "military operations" in or around civilian areas:

"PCHR strongly condemns such acts and remains gravely concerned at repeated mistakes in firing those rockets hitting [Palestinian] civilian areas and endangering civilians. PCHR also reminds the Palestinian resistance groups of their responsibilities with regard to protection of civilians in keeping with international law, and calls on them to abstain from launching any military activities from inside or near civilian areas."
[PCHR press release, August 3, 20005]

It is clear that the term "military activities" does not refer solely to attacks against Israeli military targets, as that same term was used to refer to rocket attacks against civilians in the Israeli town of Sderot.


The Western-funded Palestinian Centre for Human Rights is involved in anti-Israel hate propaganda, falsifies news reports in order to defame Israel, instructs terrorists about acceptable locations from which to murder Israeli civilians, and condemns Palestinian rocket attacks because they missed their Israeli civilian targets and killed Palestinians instead. Those organizations that fund this centre in the belief they are contributing to the cause of human rights are actually funding terror promotion, and must share responsibility for its consequences.

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