Israel has criticized Amnesty International as “biased” after the rights group published a statement saying that “serious violations of international humanitarian law, including war crimes, by all parties to the conflict continue unabated.”
Amnesty called on Thursday for “an immediate ceasefire by all parties.” Its secretary-general, Agnès Callamard, said in the statement that “urgent action is needed to protect civilians and prevent further staggering levels of human suffering.”
But her claim that “war crimes” had been committed “by all parties” drew a harsh response from Israel.
Lior Hayat, spokesperson for the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told POLITICO that “Amnesty International is an antisemitic organization that is biased against Israel,” adding that “it lacks moral authority to portray itself as a human rights organization.”
Hayat added: “The organization’s silence following the atrocities committed by Hamas terrorists on October 7, where over 1,400 Israelis, including babies, children, women, and the elderly were murdered, and over 220 people were kidnapped to the Gaza Strip, only serves to demonstrate that Amnesty International is a propaganda organization working for Hamas terrorists.”
In Gaza, Israel’s airstrikes have killed more than 6,500 Palestinians, including more than 2,700 children, according to the Amnesty International statement.
Amnesty was also criticized in the early days of Russia’s war on Ukraine, with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy dismissing a report that argued Kyiv’s wartime tactics were endangering civilians and violating international law. Zelenskyy said the human rights organization was “playing into Russia’s hands.”