Israeli occupation forces carried out “disproportionate air strikes,” killing and injuring Palestinian civilians in Gaza last month, Amnesty concluded in a report published yesterday
During May’s offensive, “Israel unlawfully destroyed Palestinian homes, often without military necessity, in what amounts to a form of collective punishment against the civilian population.”“Three separate attacks on the first night of bombing on 9 May, in which precision-guided bombs targeted three senior Al-Quds Brigades commanders, killed 10 Palestinian civilians and injured at least 20 others.”
These attacks, it added, “were launched into densely populated urban areas at 2am when families were sleeping at home, which suggests that those who planned and authorised the attacks anticipated – and likely disregarded – the disproportionate harm to civilians.”
The London-based human rights group stated: “Intentionally launching disproportionate attacks, a pattern Amnesty International has documented in previous Israeli operations, is a war crime.”
During that five-day offensive, Israel killed 34 Palestinians before an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire was agreed.
After a month on the Israeli offensive, “the suffering that these recurrent Israeli offensives inflict upon the civilian population in the Gaza Strip never ceases,” said Heba Morayef, Middle East and North Africa regional director at Amnesty International.
“In our investigation, we heard vivid accounts of bombs obliterating homes, of fathers digging their little girls out from under rubble, of a teenager fatally injured as she lay in bed holding a teddy bear.
“More frightening than any of this is the near certainty that, unless perpetrators are held to account, these horrifying scenes will be repeated.”
The root cause of this unspeakable violence is Israel’s system of apartheid. This system must be dismantled, the blockade of the Gaza Strip immediately lifted.
She stressed: “Those responsible for the crime of apartheid, war crimes and other crimes under international law must be held to account.”