Amnesty: Israel shows ‘callous indifference’ to ‘families under rubble’
A Palestinian woman walks past the ruins of houses in Johr El-Deek village in central Gaza - REUTERS
By THE CAIRO POST

CAIRO: “Israeli forces have brazenly flouted the laws of war by carrying out a series of attacks on civilian homes, displaying callous indifference to the carnage caused,” said Philip Luther, Director of the Middle East and North Africa Program at Amnesty International Wednesday.

Under title of “Families under Rubble,” the organization issued Wednesday its report on the latest 50-day Israeli aggression in the Gaza strip, in which more than 2,000 Palestinians killed and more than 11,000 were injured, of whom most were civilians. Meanwhile, 67 Israelis, mostly soldiers, were killed.

The 50-page report focused on eight cases in which at least the houses of 111 people were completely destroyed by the Israeli attacks.

“There was a failure to take necessary precautions to avoid excessive harm to civilians and civilian property, as required by international humanitarian law. In all cases, no prior warning was given to the civilian residents to allow them to escape,” report said.

The al-Dali building had the highest death toll: 36, 18 of which were children.

The report said the second largest number of deaths was ”caused by the bomb dropped on the Abu Jame’ family home, killing 26 individuals, including 25 civilians, of whom 19 were children.”

President Mahmoud Abbas said Oct.12 during the donor conference for Gaza Reconstruction that was co-hosted by Egypt and Norway that the number of the “martyrs” reached 2,145, and there were over 11,000 injured civilians.

“More than 80,000 houses have been destroyed including 16,800 in 2014 in the latest war… more than 90 families have been lost from the civil population record,” the Palestinian president continued.

According to the report, Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem listed 72 homes partially and completely destroyed in Gaza Strip and the inhabitants were inside them since the beginning of the conflict until Aug. 11.

The organization noted that that Israeli and Egyptian authorities refused entry to the Gaza strip although it repeatedly requested access.

“Governments who wish to hide their violations of human rights from the outside world have frequently banned Amnesty International from accessing the places in which they have been committed, the reported read.

The organization called for the United Nations Security Council to refer Israel to International Criminal Court to investigate possible war crimes in accordance with the international laws. The United States is a permanent member of the Security Council, and often refuses to allow issues concerning Israel on the council’s agenda. In 2011 the U.S. vetoed a resolution condemning Israeli settlements in the West Bank, despite the resolution’s language being very similar to Washington’s announced stance.

Amnesty also urged both Israel and Palestine to “accede to the Rome Statute and grant the ICC the authority to investigate crimes committed.

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