And my last word too…
Actually, contrary to Professor Heller’s explanation for HRW’s behavior (“given the brevity of HRW’s visit to Sreifa on July 31, the researchers would not have had time to interview residents to determine whether Hezbollah fighters had moved into the area; they would only have had time to determine whether there were any visible manifestations of their presence”), Human Rights Watch did have time on July 31 to interview Srifa residents.
The report contains these remarks, cited to a July 31 interview in Srifa:
“Two additional villagers told Human Rights Watch in separate interviews that Hezbollah had not been present in the neighborhood around the time of the attack. ‘Except for one person, who didn’t even belong to Hezbollah, no one in that neighborhood knew how to handle weapons,’ said Hussain Nazal. He added, ‘If they hit some houses that belong to Hezbollah we would understand, but this is not the [Hezbollah] neighborhood.'”
Professor Heller also claims that HRW was not overreaching by reaching the conclusion that because investigators in a site visit did not see “weapons, military equipment, or trenches,” Israel must have been targetting civilians. This is hardly a “limited claim on the basis of its limited information.” It is an extremely broad and unsupportable claim on the basis of limited information. If HRW investigators had no time or ability to investigate the presence of Hezbollah fighters in Sreifa, how can HRW claim that its investigation “is based on extensive on-the-ground research in Lebanon” and demonstrates that “Israel has violated one of the most fundamental tenets of the laws of war: the duty to carry out attacks on only military targets”?