Human Rights Watch (HRW) has condemned the Israeli regime for violating the laws of war during its eight-day assault on the Gaza Strip in 2012.
“Israeli forces too often conducted airstrikes that killed Palestinian civilians and destroyed homes in Gaza without apparent legal justification,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, the Middle East director at the HRW.
The international right organization’s field investigations into the attacks found no evidence of Palestinian fighters, weaponry, or other apparent military objectives at the time of the attack.
Individuals who deliberately order or take part in attacks targeting civilians or civilian objects are responsible for war crimes, the right group noted.
The report went on to say that several Israeli missiles have targeted civilians and civilian objects, such as houses and farm groves, without any apparent military objective.
Yet, under the laws of war, only military objectives – belligerent forces or objects that make an effective contribution to military action – may be targeted.
The HRW sent the details of the investigation to the Israeli military on January 14, 2013, calling for more information.
The rights group, however, did not wait for the Israeli military’s response and decided to release its report rather than wait for the Israeli officials’ investigation.
Tel Aviv has failed to provide information that would justify other attacks previously documented by Human Rights Watch, the group concluded.
On November 14, 2012 Israel launched a deadly offensive on the besieged Gaza Strip, which killed more than 160 Palestinians and injured some 1,200 others.
Gaza has been blockaded since June 2007, a situation that has caused a decline in the standards of living, unprecedented levels of unemployment, and unrelenting poverty.
The Israeli regime denies about 1.7 million people in Gaza their basic rights, such as freedom of movement and adequate healthcare and education.