LONDON, November 5, 2014 (WAFA) – Director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Amnesty International, Philip Luther, said that “Israeli forces have brazenly flouted the laws of war during the 51-day war on Gaza by carrying out a series of attacks on civilian homes, displaying callous indifference to the carnage caused.”
Israeli forces have killed scores of Palestinian civilians in attacks targeting houses full of families which in some cases have amounted to war crimes, Amnesty International has disclosed in a new report on the latest Israeli operation in the Gaza Strip.
In its report titled “Families under the Rubble: Israeli Attacks on Inhabited Homes,” Amnesty details eight cases where residential family homes in Gaza were attacked by Israeli forces without warning during its military onslaught in July and August 2014, causing the deaths of at least 104 civilians including 62 children.
The report reveals a pattern of frequent Israeli attacks using large aerial bombs to level civilian homes, sometimes killing entire families.
“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.”
The report contains numerous accounts from survivors who describe the horror of frantically digging through the rubble and dust of their destroyed homes in search of the bodies of children and loved ones.
In several of the cases documented in the report, possible military targets were identified by Amnesty International. However the devastation to civilian lives and property caused in all cases was clearly disproportionate to the military advantages gained by launching the attacks.
“Even if a fighter had been present in one of these residential homes, it would not absolve Israel of its obligation to take every feasible precaution to protect the lives of civilians caught up in the fighting. 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,” said Luther.