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March 27, 2015 12:55 am

Amnesty International Finally Says Palestinians Committed War Crimes

avatar by Steven Emerson

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The scene of a gas station in Ashdod that was hit directly by rocket fire from Gaza on the fourth day of Operation Protective Edge, July 11, 2014. Photo: Hadas Parush/Flash90.

Palestinian terrorist groups violated international law and blatantly disregarded civilian lives by consistently firing missiles indiscriminately into Israel during last summer’s war with Israel, Amnesty International reports.

The Amnesty report outlines evidence of numerous specific attacks launched from the Gaza strip that directly resulted in the deaths of Israeli civilians, including a 4-year-old boy. The report also strongly suggests that Palestinian attacks killed Palestinian civilians. For example, a missile fired from within the Gaza Strip killed 13 Palestinians, 11 of them children, after it landed in the al-Shati refugee camp. Even though Palestinians accused Israel for the attack, an independent munitions expert examining the evidence confirmed that Palestinians launched the missile.

“Palestinian armed groups, including the armed wing of Hamas, repeatedly launched unlawful attacks during the conflict killing and injuring civilians. In launching these attacks, they displayed a flagrant disregard for international humanitarian law and for the consequences of their violations on civilians in both Israel and the Gaza Strip,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s director of the Middle East and North Africa Program.

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Amnesty’s report also acknowledges that all of the rockets used by Palestinian terrorist organizations are unguided missiles which are inherently indiscriminate and lack the capability to strike targets accurately. Moreover, the findings outline extensive Palestinian use of mortars, which should never be utilized against military targets located near residential areas.

Palestinian groups also violated international humanitarian law by using civilian buildings including United Nations (UN) schools and hospitals for weapons storage. The report outlines specific cases where terrorist organizations launched attacks very close to areas where hundreds of displaced civilians were seeking refuge.

Amnesty’s report also suggests that some of Israel’s counterterrorism operations should be investigated as war crimes as well and that both Israeli and Palestinian authorities should cooperate with United Nations (UN) commissions and the International Criminal Court.

More than 4,800 rockets and 1,700 mortars were launched into Israel from the Gaza Strip during the summer conflict, according to UN data. Roughly 224 of these projectiles hit Israeli residential areas, while Israel’s Iron Dome intercepted numerous other rockets achieving a success rate of 90 percent.

Click here to read the full Amnesty International report.

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