Israel Targets Vulnerable Homes in Gaza Systematically

JERUSALEM, January 28, 2015 (WAFA) – The Israeli human rights group B’Tselem said on Wednesday the Israeli military’s bombardment of vulnerable homes during last year summer aggression on Gaza is a systematic policy carried out by the Israeli government.

“These attacks were not carried out on the whim of individual soldiers, pilots or commanders in the field. They are the result of a policy formulated by government officials and the senior military command. These officials backed the policy of attacking homes,” it said.

B’Tselem investigated 70 incidents in each of which at least three people were killed while inside their homes. A total of 606 Palestinians were killed in such incidents, the vast majority of whom took no part in the fighting.

More than 70% of them were either under 18, over 60 or women. “An examination of these cases indicates that, at least in some cases, the military’s actions ran contrary to IHL provisions and, in other cases, there is grave concern that they did so.”

To be noted, more than 2,160 Palestinians, most civilians, were killed during the aggression last summer. Hundreds of thousands others lost their homes and took shelter in UNRWA-run schools, whereas others opted for house rentals.

B’Tselem’s findings came one day after the UNRWA declared it was no longer able to provide cash assistance to tens of thousands of people in Gaza for repairs to damaged and destroyed homes and for rental subsidies to the homeless.

The latest UNRWA announcement would worsen the already exacerbating humanitarian conditions in the war-ridded coastal enclave, since many thousands were forced to go through a chilly winter without an adequate home.

Though the Cairo-based Gaza Reconstruction Conference ended up last October with a pledge to provide $5.4 billion for the reconstruction of Gaza, nothing has been met thus far.