Israel’s Bombing Of Gaza Apartments Could Be ‘War Crime,’ Rights Groups Warn
The bombing of residential areas in Gaza could constitute ‘war crimes’, Amnesty International says.
As violence between Israel and Palestine continues, recent days have seen residential areas bombed as people are evicted from their homes. As a result, many politicians and charities have called for peace in the region.
However, human rights group Amnesty International, along with others, have given a deeper assessment of the situation and criticised Israel’s involvement in the violence.
In a statement, Saleh Higazi, deputy director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International, discussed the situation in Palestine and the actions of Israel:
Deliberate targeting of civilian objects and extensive, unjustified destruction of property are war crimes. Destroying entire multi-storey homes making tens of families homeless amounts to collective punishment of the Palestinian population and is a breach of international law.
Even if part of a building is being used for military purposes Israeli authorities have an obligation to choose means and methods of attack that would minimize risks posed to civilians and their property.
The deputy director added that using rockets that using ‘rockets which cannot be accurately aimed into populated areas can amount to a war crime and endangers civilian lives on both sides of the Israel/Gaza border.’ This sentiment has also been echoed by B’Tselem, a leading Israeli human rights group, in a tweet, the group said, ‘Bombing apartment towers, which are not a military target and leaving dozens of families homeless, is a war crime.’
Human Rights Watch also compared the current situation to a form of apartheid. Omar Shakir, the Israel and Palestine director at Human Rights Watch wrote, ‘Such attacks, which are inherently indiscriminate and endanger the lives, homes, and properties of tens of thousands of Israeli civilians, are war crimes.’
In response to the use of rockets, which have killed 113 people, Israel has claimed that it is targeting buildings where Hamas store weapons or has offices. Additionally, the state has said it is giving people warning about the strikes. Despite this, the death toll, which includes at least 31 children, continues to climb.
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