West News Wire: Following the “unlawful strikes” carried out during Israel’s lethal assault on the Gaza Strip in August, Amnesty International urged the International Criminal Court (ICC) to look into potential war crimes.
According to a recent report from Amnesty International that looks into three individual assaults on civilians, Israeli forces “boasted” of the accuracy of their attacks on Gaza in August.
A four-year-old boy, a teenager who was visiting his mother’s grave, and a fine arts student who was murdered by Israeli tank fire while at home having tea with her mother were among the casualties of Israel’s allegedly “precise” attacks, according to Amnesty International.
An attack that claimed seven Palestinian civilian lives and appeared to have been caused by an unguided rocket that was probably launched by Palestinian armed groups, the organisation said.
“Israel’s latest offensive on Gaza lasted only three days, but that was ample time to unleash fresh trauma and destruction on the besieged population,” Agnès Callamard, Amnesty International’s secretary-general, said in a statement accompanying the report.
“The three deadly attacks we examined must be investigated as war crimes; all victims of unlawful attacks and their families deserve justice and reparations,” she said.
The August onslaught by Israeli forces was only the most recent example of indiscriminate violence against the “dominated, oppressed and segregated” population of Gaza, which has suffered under years of illegal blockade of the territory, Callamard added.
“As well as investigating war crimes committed in Gaza, the ICC should consider the crime against humanity of apartheid within its current investigation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories,” she said.
Since the beginning of this year, at least 160 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, including 51 Palestinians killed during Israel’s three-day assault on Gaza in August, according to the Palestinian health ministry.
Thirty-one civilians were among the 49 Palestinians that the United Nations said were killed in the Gaza Strip during the three-day conflict, Amnesty said in the new report.
The fighting began on August 5 when Israel launched air raids in what it said were preemptive attacks targeting the Islamic Jihad group.
Using photos of weapon fragments, satellite imagery analysis, and testimony from dozens of interviewees, Amnesty said it had reconstructed the circumstances surrounding three specific attacks, two of which were carried out by Israeli forces and one most likely by Palestinian armed groups.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) has begun an investigation into the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which is anticipated to include a focus on potential war crimes during the 2014 battle in Gaza. Although Israel is not a member of the ICC and contests its jurisdiction, the Palestinian Authority supports the investigation.
The family of Shireen Abu Akleh, an Al Jazeera journalist, filed a formal case with the ICC last month to seek justice for her passing.
As the “voice of Palestine,” Abu Akleh worked for Al Jazeera for 25 years. On May 11, she was killed by an Israeli bullet to the head while covering an army operation in the Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank.