Nov 30, 2023

Human Rights Watch Criticises Czech Stance on Israel-Gaza Conflict

Prague Morning

Prague Morning

Human Rights Watch European Media and Editorial Director Andrew Stroehlein voiced criticism of some European states, particularly the Czech Republic, for what he perceives as a failure to condemn Israel’s actions in Gaza during an interview on Wednesday.

Stroehlein accused Czechia of exhibiting an unbalanced view, focusing solely on the crimes of one side in the conflict despite the broader context of human rights violations.

“Most of the world was quick to condemn these terrible crimes, but we have seen no condemnation from many European states of what happened afterwards. I am referring to the war crimes that Israel committed,” Stroehlein told Seznam Zprávy in an interview.

According to Stroehlein, Israel is illegally punishing all citizens of Gaza as it cut off drinking water, electricity, or fuel.

“There is no will in Europe to condemn these crimes collectively, but some individual states have done so, “he added, explicitly mentioning Belgium and Spain.

“But then there are countries that only condemn the crimes of one side and have a very unbalanced view… the Czech Republic, for example,” Stroehlein added.

As previously reported, Czechia has strong ties with Israel due to its history.

Stroehlein emphasized that the EU was founded on respect for democracy and human rights, which include a commitment to justice and respect for international law.

“The Czech Republic has not adhered to these principles in the last seven weeks. War crimes do not become acceptable just because your friends are committing them,” Stroehlein said, adding that Czechia in the Israel-Hamás conflict “sees only the crimes of one side.”

Hamas attacked Israel on 7 October, killing 1200 civilians, which led to Israel striking back in an attack and total blockade of Gaza which has claimed some 14,000 Palestinian civilian lives so far, the majority of which are women and children.

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