Israeli bombs wiped out entire families in Gaza: Amnesty

2014-11-10 05:37:28 | Al Muslim News
Israeli bombs wiped out entire families in Gaza: Amnesty


Israel used disproportionate military force during its military operation in Gaza, as entire Palestinian families were killed when their homes were leveled by Israeli bombs falling with no warning and for little military gain, Amnesty International said. The Amnesty report on 'Operation Protective Edge, which left over 18,000 homes reduced to rubble or rendered uninhabitable and killed more than 1,500 Palestinians, was released on Wednesday. “Israeli forces killed scores of Palestinian civilians in attacks targeting houses full of families, which in some cases have amounted to war crimes,” the report said. The human rights organisation accused Israel of callous indifference towards the lives of civilians, adding that the country’s military may be guilty of war crimes. The report details eight incidents of Israeli airstrikes on Palestinian homes, which killed at least 104 civilians including 62 children. “Israeli forces have brazenly flouted the laws of war by carrying out a series of attacks on civilian homes, displaying callous indifference to the carnage caused,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty’s director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme. “The report exposes a pattern of attacks on civilian homes by Israeli forces which have shown a shocking disregard for the lives of Palestinian civilians, who were given no warning and had no chance to flee.” In some of the cases investigated by the Amnesty, the organisation managed to identify possible military targets that could have provoked the strikes. But whatever military advantage the elimination of those targets could provide, the mass loss of civilian lives accompanying them clearly outweighed them, it stressed. “The repeated, disproportionate attacks on homes indicate that Israel’s current military tactics are deeply flawed and fundamentally at odds with the principles of international humanitarian law,” Luther said. In other cases reported no clear military objective could be identified, the report said. If that is the case, the attacks deliberately targeted civilians and would constitute war crimes, Amnesty warned. The report said that the Israeli officials would not provide justification for the attacks mentioned in the report or even acknowledge that they were indeed happening. The report says the strikes had horrendous effect on survivors, who had the harrowing experience of searching for the bodies of their loved ones in the rubble of their homes. “All I can remember are the bits and pieces I saw of bodies: teeth, head, arms, insides, everything scattered and spread,” recalled Ayman Haniyeh, a neighbour living next to one of the homes destroyed by an Israeli strike. “It was terrifying we couldn’t save anyone…. All of the kids were burnt, I couldn’t tell which were mine and which were the neighbours’…” recalled doctor Khalil Abed Hassan Ammar, who lived in the house. “We carried whoever we were able to the ambulance… I only recognized Ibrahim my eldest child, when I saw the shoes he was wearing…I had bought them for him two days before.” Amnesty called on Israeli and Palestinian authorities to allow independent investigation into the latest outbreak of violence in Gaza and a prosecution of alleged crimes committed by all parties involved by the International Criminal Court..

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