Rights group Amnesty International accused the Israeli military of displaying “shocking disregard” for civilian lives in the Gaza Strip during the 50-day war.
In a report published on Wednesday, the group said that it had documented eight instances in which Israeli security forces attacked houses in Gaza “without warning”, killing “at least 104 civilians including 62 children”.
“The report reveals a pattern of frequent Israeli attacks using large aerial bombs to level civilian homes, sometimes killing entire families”, the rights’ group said.
Amnesty added that while it was possible that military targets might have been identified in a few cases, “the devastation to civilian lives… was clearly disproportionate”.
Israel has rejected the group’s findings, and said that it produced “no evidence” to back up claims made in the report, which it called “a propaganda tool for Hamas”.
The report also charged that whenever Israel appears to have failed to identify “any possible military target” in a residential building in Gaza, it may have “directly and deliberately targeted civilians or civilian objects, which would constitute war crimes”.
“The report exposes a pattern of attacks on civilian homes by Israeli forces which have shown a shocking disregard for the lives of Palestinian civilians, who were given no warning and had no chance to flee”, Philip Luther, Amnesty’s director for the Middle East and North Africa, said.
According to Amnesty International, “Palestinian armed groups also committed war crimes, firing thousands of indiscriminate rockets into Israel killing six civilians including one child”.
It also said that it had conduct all of its research for the report remotely since Israel denied access to Gaza to it and other rights groups. It also called on Palestinians and Israelis to “accede to the Rome Statute and grant the ICC (International Criminal Court) the authority to investigate crimes committed in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories”.
Click here to read the full report.