Amnesty Int’l accuses Israel of war crimes in Gaza war

Raffi Wineburg

(JTA) — The human rights organization Amnesty International accused Israel of committing war crimes in its most recent war in Gaza.

In a report published Tuesday, the London-based group said that Israel deliberately targeted and destroyed civilian buildings without military justification.

The report identified four attacks that destroyed multistory buildings in Gaza, concluding that they were “wanton and not justified by military necessity” and “therefore amount to a war crime.”

Israel claimed that the buildings were used as Hamas command centers or otherwise linked to Palestinian militants.

Amnesty rejected the claims, saying that Israeli authorities have not provided sufficient evidence to justify the leveling of the buildings, suggesting “a policy of collective punishment, in breach of international humanitarian law.”

The report conceded that the Israeli military “took measures to ensure that residents left the targeted buildings before their destruction.” Even so, the group said, the attacks resulted in “scores of injuries to scores of civilians in surrounding buildings.”

Amnesty has accused Israel and Hamas of human rights violations in the past. Israeli authorities tend to reject the group’s findings.