Human Rights Watch has released another report debunking the Israeli talking point that Hezbollah used "human shields" during the Israeli attack on Lebanon and is therefore directly responsible for the 1000+ civilian lives that Israel snuffed out. AP summarizes the report as follows:
In its harshest condemnation of Israel since last summer's war, Human Rights Watch charged that most of the Lebanese civilian casualties came from “indiscriminate Israeli air strikes,” according to a report to be released Thursday.
In a statement issued before the report's release, the human rights organization said there was no basis to the Israeli claim that civilian casualties resulted from Hezbollah guerrillas using civilians as shields. Israel has said it attacked civilian areas because Hezbollah set up rocket launchers in villages and towns.
Israel responded exactly as you'd expect, in the person of Mark Regev (who in my experience makes Joe Lockhart, Ari Fleischer, and Jamie Shea look like sterling candidates for Diogenes):
Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev rejected the report's findings.
"Hezbollah adopted a deliberate strategy of shielding itself behind the civilian population and turning the civilians in Lebanon into a human shield," he said, charging that Hezbollah "broke the first fundamental rule of war in that they deliberately exploited the civilian population of Lebanon as a human shield."
As I've noted before, ample evidence demolishing this claim was already collected and analyzed by Stephen Zunes in his typically thorough fashion--so the new HRW report is just one more bit of reality to throw out there when you see this tired canard being brandished by Israel's hasbara army. In that same article I mentioned that Congress had passed a resolution condemning Hezbollah for its use of human shields; let us all now hold our collective breath as we wait for them to pass a new resolution correcting this error, and condemning Israel for its murderous assault.
Someone should also notify Mitchell Wallerstein, Dean of the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. Maybe I will; I'd be genuinely curious to see what his response might be.