A bitter war of words has greeted the publication of a hard-hitting report by Amnesty International called ‘Trigger Happy: Israel’s excessive use of force in the West Bank.’
The respected human rights group were labelled “obsessive” by the Israeli embassy in London after today’s report said Israel showed “a callous disregard for human life”.
The report, which documents the killing of 22 Palestinians in 2013, including four children, makes for hard reading, but in a stinging rebuke, the embassy said its authors had been highly selective in what they recorded.
“Amnesty is in urgent need of a reality check,” read an embassy statement. “Its obsessive focus on Israel suggests a troubling political agenda, with outrageous recommendations, which include an arms embargo on Israel, but no suggestion (of course) that the Palestinian authorities should act against unlawful violence, or against the daily glorification of terrorism and murder.”
It continued: “The only trigger-happy and reckless party in connection with the report is Amnesty itself.”
The timing of the report will have a huge impact on perceptions of Israel around the world, as the ongoing US-brokered peace talks race towards a nine month deadline set by US Secretary of State John Kerry last year.
Amnesty’s intervention had been anticipated, with 2013 seeing a spike in violence. According to the UN, more West Bank Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces last year than in 2011 and 2012 combined.
“Israeli forces have displayed a callous disregard for human life by killing dozens of Palestinian civilians, including children, in the occupied West Bank over the past three years with near total impunity,” said Amnesty International.