Israeli attacks on Gaza hospitals potential war crimes: Amnesty
Smoke billows from a Gaza City after an Israeli airstrike - AP

CAIRO: Israel’s continued shelling of civilian homes in Gaza strip and a hospital are among new possible war crimes that require urgent independent international investigation, Amnesty International wrote on their website Monday.

Israeli forces struck the third floor of Al-Aqsa Hospital in Deir al-Balah Monday leaving four dead and dozens injured according to the Gaza Ministry of Health. Last week another hospital in Shuja’iyyah was destroyed after being attacked twice by Israeli forces.

The death toll in Gaza now exceeds 550 people, a majority of them civilians, after the fourth day of the Israeli ground incursion. Municipal workers and relief organizations need to carry out repair work for water and sewage services and 1.2 million people do not have these services, according to Amnesty.

“There can be no justification for targeting medical facilities at any time,” Amnesty International Middle East and North Africa Director Philip Luther said. “The attack of Al-Aqsa Hospital is the latest in a series of attacks on and near medical facilities in Gaza, which have been struggling to cope with thousands of injured people since the Israeli offensive began on July 8.”

“This is a densely-populated area. The strike was not aimed at a certain house, but a whole society and it caused mass destruction,” Amnesty quoted Mahmoud el-Atamna, a neighbor of a victim in Khan Yousin refugee camp, as saying.

A video published by the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) Monday showed a Palestinian man shot by an Israeli sniper while looking for his relatives in Shuja’iyyah, where more than 70 people were killed and tens of thousands evacuated, Al-Masry Al-Youm reported.

The man was shot and fell down. He took another bullet when he was lying prone.

A Palestinian official said Tuesday that the Israeli army is still preventing civil protection and ambulances from taking the bodies of the victims killed in Shujj’iyyah, Anadolu reported.

Gaza Civil Defense Col. Mohamed el-Attar said that the victims were not taken from the neighborhood because the occupation authorities did not allow ambulances to work.

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