The Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center (Malam), an Israeli NGO, released a 500-page document this week refuting the Goldstone Report’s findings by explaining the South African judge’s four basic flaws, as well as the true nature of Israel’s conflict against Hamas in the Gaza Strip. The study employs a vast amount of intelligence information, including video clips, photographs, seized documents and sketches, along with statements made by captured Hamas terrorist operatives and IDF officers. The report’s findings are astounding.
According to Malam, the Goldstone Report impairs “the reader’s ability to understand Israel’s reasons for Operation Cast Lead.” It does so by: (1) failing to explain Hamas’ nature as a terrorist organization: it’s ideology, strategy, military-terrorist infrastructure, and its record of suicide bombings and rocket firings; (2) minimizing the extent of Hamas’ terrorist activity since it took over Gaza in 2007; (3) ignoring Hamas’ military build-up following 2007; and (4) refusing to cover “the massive amounts of aid” Iran, Hezbollah, and Syria have given Hamas to construct its terrorist infrastructure.
The Malam report also highlights Hamas’ international law violations and human rights abuses. According to its findings, Hamas established “command centers and Qassam launch pads” in and around 100 Gaza mosques and hospitals. Goldstone’s authors reported that they could not confirm whether or not Hamas used mosques for military purposes. In addition, and perhaps most disturbing, the Malam report “brings declassified videos that show how Hamas used civilians as human shields and deployed its weaponry and command centers inside civilian homes.”
Work on the Malam report began immediately after Richard Goldstone issued his findings in September 2009, and the report’s release could not have come sooner. As Johanna Markind notes in the Palestinian Rocket Report, international law is increasingly being used as a means to make the application of force, even when employed as self defense, illegal. In effect, this was the Goldstone Report’s outcome. As she concludes, “This is a growing trend in international law, to which the United States is not immune.” While it’s too early to determine the Malam report’s impact, it is strikingly apparent that actions must be taken to stop the spiraling international trend. Indeed, international law should be amended so that non-state terrorist actors, such as Hamas, are not protected.