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Human Rights Watch to Hamas: Probe war crimes

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JERUSALEM (JTA) — Human Rights Watch called on Hamas to open an investigation into alleged war crimes.

The organization sent a letter Tuesday to Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh calling on Hamas to launch a "credible investigation" into the alleged violations highlighted in the United Nations’ Goldstone report, according to reports.

Hamas replied in a statement that it would carry out the recommendations contained in the Goldstone report and added that the call by Human Rights Watch should be directed at Israel.

The report, which accused Israel and Hamas of war crimes and possible crimes against humanity, called on both sides to investigate their actions during the Gaza war within six months. 

The report was adopted last week by the Human Rights Council and sent on to the U.N. Security Council.

Human Rights Watch founder Robert Bernstein in an opinion piece published Tuesday in The New York Times wrote that the group in recent years has focused too much on alleged Israeli violations while choosing to ignore those in neighboring countries.

“Human Rights Watch has lost critical perspective on a conflict in which Israel has been repeatedly attacked by Hamas and Hezbollah, organizations that go after Israeli citizens and use their own people as human shields,” he said.

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