Israel likely committed Gaza war crimes - HRW

2014-09-11 14:41
(Mohammed Abed, AFP)

(Mohammed Abed, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Jerusalem - Israel is likely to have committed war crimes in Gaza, Human Rights Watch said on Thursday, a day after the army announced five criminal investigations into incidents involving its forces.

The 50-day Gaza war between Israel and Hamas-led militants ended on 26 August after killing more than 2 100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, and 73 people on the Israeli side, 67 of them soldiers.

The New York-based rights watchdog said in a statement that in three cases it examined, Israel caused "numerous civilian casualties in violation of the laws of war".

The incidents were the separate shellings of two UN schools in northern Gaza on 24 and 30 July, and a guided missile strike on another UN school in the southern city of Rafah on 3 August.

The attacks killed a total of 45 people including 17 children, HRW said.

"Two of the three attacks Human Rights Watch investigated... did not appear to target a military objective or were otherwise unlawfully indiscriminate. The third attack in Rafah was unlawfully disproportionate if not otherwise indiscriminate."

"Unlawful attacks carried out wilfully - that is, deliberately or recklessly - are war crimes," it said.

A top army legal official said on Wednesday the military was already launching criminal investigations into five incidents, including the 24 July case, where Israeli shelling killed at least 15 people at a UN school in Beit Hanun in northern Gaza.

The army is to look into several dozen other cases for potential criminal investigation, but has not yet mentioned the 30 July or 3 August incidents.

The official said the army had already dismissed seven incidents referred for review, including the death of eight members of a single family in an Israeli air strike on their home, and the killing of a man reports said was a media worker.

"Israel has a long record of failing to undertake credible investigations into alleged war crimes," HRW said.

The United Nations and international rights groups have condemned Israel for numerous attacks, and Washington slammed the 24 July UN school attack, but refrained from placing the blame squarely on Israel.

The Palestinians have threatened Israel with action at the International Criminal Court over war crimes allegations, and Hamas has signed a proposal for Palestinians to join the body, potentially opening itself up to investigation.

Read more on:    un  |  hrw  |  hamas  |  palestine  |  israel  |  gaza  |  middle east peace

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
91 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.