In a visit to the West Bank city of Nablus in 2002 to document Israeli human rights violations committed by Israeli occupying forces I had the chance to meet with Mr. Chris Cobb-Smith, the writer of the present manual. He was there to prepare a report on the types of weapons that the Israeli occupying forces used against Palestinians and their properties in the city and in the Jenin refugee camp during the offensive on the camp in 2002. This was the first time I met him. Seven years later, I learned that he was in Gaza to prepare an expert report for Amnesty International on the damages that Gaza suffered during the Israeli offensive on Gaza which Israel, the occupying power, called “Operation Cast Lead”. That is when I called Chris by telephone and he expressed his willingness to cooperate with us. It is especially in light of the fact that the use of expert reports in different areas are considered important documents for supporting any file related to the criminal prosecution of Israeli war criminals that we began our relationship with Chris.
The idea of the present guide started to materialize when in 2010 Al-Haq invited Mr. Chris to train its filed researchers and the field researchers of other organizations on investigation techniques. In that training workshop Chris presented valuable information on investigation methods and types of weapons used by armies during armed conflicts. Al-Haq saw that Chris’ rich experience should be put in the form of a guide that benefits filed researchers who investigate human rights violations committed by Israeli occupying forces in the occupied Palestinian territory.