As the war in Gaza continues, the issue of the possibility of Palestinian civilian deaths hovers over the conscience of the people of Israel and the judicial system of Israel, at a time when officials of Israeli intelligence confirm that the Palestinian military targets are surrounded by at least 90,000 Palestinian villages and/or United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) refugee camps.

In that context, the Association of Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) has issued a statement warning Israeli armed forces to refrain from killing civilians in Gaza.

However, the Sderot Media Center has filmed and confirmed that Hamas fighters fire lethal rockets from the roofs of housing projects in Beit Hanoun, strategically located in Northern Gaza, half a mile from Sderot.

The Israel Intelligence Information Center has similarly filmed and confirmed found that Palestinian fighters use UNRWA schoolyards in Gaza as cover for firing their deadly rockets against Israel.

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Dan Yakir, ACRI legal counsel, said he would not object to strikes against such targets as long as Israel was certain that the civilians had evacuated the buildings.

Mr. Yakir said Israeli troops should refrain from firing on such structures if civilians had not been evacuated. But he agreed when asked if the Palestinians were using civilians as human shields and if they were manipulating Israel’s human rights laws for propaganda purposes.

He, however, refused to answer whether or not his organization provided a propaganda tool for Israel’s sworn enemies during a time of war, and Mr. Yakir repeatedly said ACRI’s role is to prevent Israel from causing civilian deaths.

David Bedein can be reached at dbedein@israelbehindthenews.com

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David Bedein is an MSW community organizer and an investigative journalist.   In 1987, Bedein established the Israel Resource News Agency at Beit Agron to accompany foreign journalists in their coverage of Israel, to balance the media lobbies established by the PLO and their allies.   Mr. Bedein has reported for news outlets such as CNN Radio, Makor Rishon, Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, BBC and The Jerusalem Post, For four years, Mr. Bedein acted as the Middle East correspondent for The Philadelphia Bulletin, writing 1,062 articles until the newspaper ceased operation in 2010. Bedein has covered breaking Middle East negotiations in Oslo, Ottawa, Shepherdstown, The Wye Plantation, Annapolis, Geneva, Nicosia, Washington, D.C., London, Bonn, and Vienna. Bedein has overseen investigative studies of the Palestinian Authority, the Expulsion Process from Gush Katif and Samaria, The Peres Center for Peace, Peace Now, The International Center for Economic Cooperation of Yossi Beilin, the ISM, Adalah, and the New Israel Fund.   Since 2005, Bedein has also served as Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research.   A focus of the center's investigations is The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). In that context, Bedein authored Roadblock to Peace: How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict - UNRWA Policies Reconsidered, which caps Bedein's 28 years of investigations of UNRWA. The Center for Near East Policy Research has been instrumental in reaching elected officials, decision makers and journalists, commissioning studies, reports, news stories and films. In 2009, the center began decided to produce short movies, in addition to monographs, to film every aspect of UNRWA education in a clear and cogent fashion.   The center has so far produced seven short documentary pieces n UNRWA which have received international acclaim and recognition, showing how which UNRWA promotes anti-Semitism and incitement to violence in their education'   In sum, Bedein has pioneered The UNRWA Reform Initiative, a strategy which calls for donor nations to insist on reasonable reforms of UNRWA. Bedein and his team of experts provide timely briefings to members to legislative bodies world wide, bringing the results of his investigations to donor nations, while demanding reforms based on transparency, refugee resettlement and the demand that terrorists be removed from the UNRWA schools and UNRWA payroll.   Bedein's work can be found at: www.IsraelBehindTheNews.com and www.cfnepr.com. A new site,unrwa-monitor.com, will be launched very soon.