Amnesty International Charges Impunity for War Crimes in Gaza and Southern Israel Recipe for Further Civilian Suffering
“The international community, led by the United Nations Security Council, must use all its leverage to ensure that
Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups fired hundreds of rockets into southern
The report, based on evidence gathered by Amnesty International delegates, including a military expert, during field research in January and February, documents
The scale and intensity of the attacks on
Most were killed with high-precision weapons, relying on surveillance drones which have exceptionally good optics, allowing those observing to see their targets in detail. Others were killed with imprecise weapons, including artillery shells carrying white phosphorus – not previously used in
Amnesty International found that the victims of the attacks it investigated were not caught in the crossfire during battles between Palestinian militants and Israeli forces, nor were they shielding militants or other military objects. Many were killed when their homes were bombed while they slept. Other were sitting in their yard or hanging the laundry on the roof. Children were struck while playing in their bedrooms or on the roof, or near their homes. Paramedics and ambulances were repeatedly attacked while attempting to rescue the wounded or recover the dead.
“The deaths of so many children and other civilians cannot be dismissed simply as ‘collateral damage’, as argued by
More than 3,000 homes were destroyed and some 20,000 damaged in Israeli attacks which reduced entire neighbourhoods of
The Israeli army has not responded to Amnesty International’s repeated requests over the past five months for information on specific cases detailed in the report and for meetings to discuss the organization’s findings.
“For its part, Hamas has continued to justify the rocket attacks launched daily by its fighters and by other Palestinian armed groups into towns and villages in southern
In addition to locally made Qassam rockets, Palestinian militants often fired longer-range Grad-type rockets smuggled into
“Five months on, neither side has shown any inclination to change its practices and abide by international humanitarian law, raising the prospect that civilians will again bear the brunt if fighting resumes,” said Rovera.
Under international law, states have a responsibility to exercise universal jurisdiction and start criminal investigations in national courts, wherever there is sufficient evidence of war crimes or other crimes under international law, to arrest and bring to justice alleged perpetrators.
“Those responsible for war crimes and other serious violations must not be allowed to escape accountability and justice.”
Among other recommendations, the report calls on states to suspend all transfers of military equipment, assistance and munitions to
It calls on
It urges Hamas to renounce its policy of unlawful rocket attacks against civilian population centres in
Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 2.2 million supporters, activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.
For more information, please go to www.amnestyusa.org
SOURCE Amnesty International