Following the bitter war between Israel and the terrorists of Gaza in the summer of 2014, which claimed many lives on the Palestinian side as well as the Israeli, Amnesty International condemned Hamas on Thursday for allegedly killing more Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip than Israel did during the war.
According to Amnesty, it is the Palestinians who perpetrated war crimes and not the Israelis, due to random and deadly rocket attacks by them on civilian populations both in Israel and the Gaza Strip.
The report notes specific incidents of rockets, fired by Hamas, which killed Israelis, including a 4-year-old boy. The report also cites a rocket fired from within the Gaza Strip which killed 13 Palestinian civilians, most of them children, due to a launch error.
Amnesty International's director of the Middle East and North Africa Program, Phillip Luther, made the organization's position clear on the matter,
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.The Amnesty report also noted that the rockets used by Hamas and their affiliates were mainly unguided, making them "indiscriminate" due to the fact that they can't target precisely.
On top of that, the Palestinian leadership has been condemned for using civilian buildings including United Nations schools and hospitals, for weapons storage, while also firing from within densely populated residential areas.
Amnesty also said that Israel's counterterrorism operations also need to be investigated as possible war crimes, as the organization urged both sides to cooperate with UN commissions and other inquiries.
The Palestinians fired more than 4,800 rockets and 1,700 mortars in its unprovoked attack on Israel last summer, while 224 projectiles hit Israeli residential areas, most were intercepted by Israel's Iron Dome protection system.
[Image credit: TimesofIsrael.com]