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Dublin: 10°C Monday 25 October 2021

Amnesty accused of being a "propaganda tool for Hamas" by Israel

The group says Israel showed a “shocking disregard for Gaza civilians”.

Image: AP/Press Association Images

ISRAEL HAS CRITICISED a report from human rights watchdog Amnesty International which accuses them of war crimes.

The response has hit out at the organisation for being “a propaganda tool for Hamas and other terror groups” and questions Amnesty’s methodology.

In the report, Israel go on to criticise the organisation for the alleged lack of balance in their criticism. It says:

The extreme bias of the report is best displayed in its recommendations: Hamas is not mentioned, as if the group has no responsibility for the bloodshed; meanwhile, the report dismisses Israel’s security challenges.

The report

In a new report, which accuses Israel of war crimes in Gaza, Amnesty outlines eight instances in which inhabited homes were attacked without warning during Israel’s 50-day military offensive during the summer.

The report, which has been rejected by Israel, shows a pattern of Israeli attacks using large aerial bombs to level civilian homes, sometimes killing entire families.

“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 Programme at Amnesty International.

The report contains numerous accounts from survivors who describe the horror of frantically digging through the rubble and dust of their destroyed homes in search of the bodies of children and loved ones.

In several of the cases documented in the report, possible military targets were identified by Amnesty International. However the devastation to civilian lives and property caused in all cases was clearly disproportionate to the military advantages gained by launching the attacks.

“Even if a fighter had been present in one of these residential homes, it would not absolve Israel of its obligation to take every feasible precaution to protect the lives of civilians caught up in the fighting.

The repeated, disproportionate attacks on homes indicate that Israel’s current military tactics are deeply flawed and fundamentally at odds with the principles of international humanitarian law.

At least 18,000 homes were destroyed or rendered uninhabitable during the conflict. More than 1,500 Palestinian civilians including 519 children were killed.

The report also criticises Palestinian forces for firing indiscriminate rockets into Israel.

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