Association for Defending Victims of Terrorism – Israeli forces have displayed a shocking disregard for the lives of Palestinian civilians by carrying out a number of airstrikes targeting residential buildings in some cases killing entire families – including children – and causing wanton destruction to civilian property, in attacks that may amount to war crimes or crimes against humanity, said Amnesty International.
The organization has documented four deadly attacks by Israel launched on residential homes without prior warning and is calling for the International Criminal Court (ICC) to urgently investigate these attacks. The death toll in Gaza continues to climb with at least 198 Palestinians killed including 58 children and more than 1,220 injured.
“There is a horrific pattern emerging of Israel launching air strikes in Gaza targeting residential buildings and family homes – in some cases entire families were buried beneath the rubble when the buildings they lived in collapsed. In the cases documented below, no prior warning was given to the civilian residents to allow them to escape. Under international humanitarian law, all parties must distinguish between military targets and civilian objects and direct their attacks only at military objectives. When carrying out attacks, parties must take all feasible precautions to minimize harm to civilians,” said Saleh Higazi, Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa.
The Israeli army claims that it only attacks military targets and has justified airstrikes on residential buildings on that basis. However, residents told Amnesty International that there were no fighters or military objectives in the vicinity at the time of the attacks documented.
According to United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) more than 2,500 people have been made homeless due to the destruction of their homes and more than 38,000 people have been internally displaced and have sought shelter in 48 UNRWA schools across Gaza.