Amensty International cites ‘strong evidence’ that Israel committed war crimes during last year’s ‘relentless, massive’ bombardment of Rafah
Human Rights watchdog Amnesty International released a report on Wednesday asserting that there was “strong evidence” that the Israeli military had committed “war crimes” during last year’s military onslaught against the blockaded Gaza Strip.
The report – entitled “Black Friday: Carnage in Rafah during the 2014 Israel/Gaza Conflict – was slammed by Israel’s Foreign Ministry, which described it as “fundamentally flawed.”
Palestinian resistance faction Hamas, for its part, welcomed the report’s findings, saying the evidence it contained should be submitted to The Hague-based International Criminal Court.
The group went on to urge the international community to take “immediate punitive measures against Israeli leaders and prosecute them for their crimes against the Palestinian people.”
According to the report, Israel carried out “revenge” operations against Palestinians in August of last year – leaving some 135 Palestinians dead – after one of its soldiers was captured in the Gaza Strip’s southern Rafah area.
“There is strong evidence that Israeli forces committed war crimes in their relentless and massive bombardment of residential areas of Rafah in order to foil the capture of Lieutenant Hadar Goldin, displaying a shocking disregard for civilian lives,” Philip Luther, director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa program, said.
“They carried out a series of disproportionate or otherwise indiscriminate attacks, which they have completely failed to investigate independently,” he added.
On July 7, 2014, Israel launched a massive military offensive against the Gaza Strip, which ended on August 26. The operation led to the death of some 2,150 Palestinians, including 578 children, 489 women and 102 elderly persons.
At least 73 Israelis – 68 soldiers and five civilians – were also killed during the 51-day conflict.
Resource: World Bulletin, July 29, 2015