Did Israel violate international law during the recent flare-up with Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip in May? Human Rights Watch argues in its latest report that some of Tel Aviv’s actions in bombing the civilians of Gaza “apparently amount to war crimes.”
The HRW argued in the report that those questionable actions include at least three Israeli strikes on #Gaza, which killed 62 civilians, including entire families, “where there were no evident military targets in the vicinity.” The report noted that #Israel may have broken international law in other airstrikes as well.
Human Rights Watch also argued that Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups also “committed unlawful attacks” in firing over 4,300 unguided rockets and mortars into Israeli communities. The #HRW will publish a separate report on those attacks in August.
The war killed over 250 Palestinians in Gaza, among them 67 children, and 13 residents of Israel, including two children.
#Hamas says 80 of the dead in Gaza were militants but Israel claims the number is higher.
According to the report, around 6 p.m. on May 10, an Israeli guided missile hit four houses belonging to a family named al-Masri in an area near the town of Beit Hanoun, killing eight civilians, including six children, and injuring 18 others. None of the victims were militants, the HRW argued, adding that even Israel did not list any of them as members of a militant group.
The report’s findings could be used as part of an ongoing investigation by the International Criminal Court of violations by both Israeli forces and Palestinian armed groups. Israel insists that the court doesn’t have jurisdiction in the case.
Human Rights Watch had to hire a local reseacher in Gaza and use satellite images, expert analysis of photos and munition fragments, and phone and video interviews because Israel refused to let its senior investigators into Gaza.