Two years on from the start of Israel’s unprecedented assault on the Gaza Strip, Amnesty International has slammed the lack of accountability for crimes committed during the offensive.
In a new briefing published on the second anniversary of ‘Operation Protective Edge’, the global human rights group says the impunity enjoyed by those responsible for violations is “indefensible.”
The briefing includes interviews with relatives of those killed, describes the flaws in the Israeli military’s investigations to date, and also notes attacks that clearly targeted civilians.
The latter include the killing of four Palestinian boys on a Gaza City beach on July 16, as well as what Amnesty describes as “an unrelenting onslaught against civilians” in Rafah on August 1.
According to the briefing, Israeli attacks killed 1,462 Palestinian civilians, including 551 children, while Palestinian projectile fire killed six civilians in Israel.
In addition, “schools, medical facilities, water and sanitation networks, farms and businesses across the Strip were severely damaged or destroyed”, and “more than 18,000 homes in Gaza were destroyed or damaged beyond repair.”
Amnesty describes Israel’s military investigations process as lacking transparency, effectiveness and independence, noting that the only criminal charges thus far have been brought against three soldiers for looting and obstructing an investigation.
Amnesty also criticises the lack of investigations into international law violations by Hamas and other armed factions, citing both projectile fire into Israel, as well as the killings of alleged collaborators.