Why did a supposedly neutral human rights organization not only take upon itself to attempt to refute Israel's investigation, but also now seems to be ignoring the second thoughts of its own researcher? The Jerusalem Post reports:
On June 13, Human Rights Watch issued a press release citing evidence it had collected, claiming that the Gaza beach explosion was "probably" caused by Israeli artillery shelling, and calling for an independent investigation. Two days later, HRW issued another release making more evidentiary claims and quoting its own analyst, Marc Garlasco:
"The likelihood that the Ghalya family was killed by an explosive other than one of the shells fired by the IDF is remote... this new evidence highlights the urgent need for Israel to permit an independent, transparent investigation into the beach killings."
On Monday, this newspaper [JP] interviewed Garlasco after he spent three hours going through all the evidence gathered by the IDF.
"We came to an agreement with [chief IDF investigator] Gen. Klifi that the most likely cause [of the blast] was unexploded Israeli ordinance," Garlasco said.
Despite some remaining disagreements, he also praised the IDF for its "competent" investigation and stated
"we do not believe that the Israelis were targeting civilians."
...HRW is still demanding an independent investigation, and, as of press time last night, had issued no press release correcting Garlasco's own very different comments of just a week ago, which remain on its Web site. More importantly, HRW has issued no urgent demand for investigation of official Palestinian Authority culpability for the deliberate targeting of Israeli civilians.... HRW pays lip service to condemning terrorism; its investigatory zeal is reserved for Israel.
Ed Lasky 6 21 06