Israeli army guilty of ‘war crimes’, says Amnesty report

NEW YORK (Neo Web Desk) The Israeli army indiscriminately and deliberately targeted civilians during a brutal 2014 assault known as “Black Friday”, according to a new report released here on Wednesday.The joint study by Amnesty International and Forensic Architecture, cites “strong evidence” of war crimes and possible crimes against humanity on Aug 1, 2014, when Israeli forces bombarded residential areas in Rafah in retaliation for the capture of one of its soldiers.“There is overwhelming evidence that Israeli forces committed disproportionate, or otherwise indiscriminate, attacks which killed scores of civilians in their homes, on the streets and in vehicles and injured many more,” notes the report.“This includes repeatedly firing artillery and other imprecise explosive weapons in densely populated civilian areas… In some cases, there are indications that they directly fired at and killed civilians, including people fleeing.”Israel responded by implementing the “Hannibal Directive”, a controversial order that allowed soldiers to respond to the capture of their comrade by “unleashing massive firepower on persons, vehicles and buildings in the vicinity of the attack, despite the risk to civilians” or to the soldier himself, the Amnesty report noted.The attacks continued for days, even after the Israeli army found some of the soldiers belongings next to a trail of blood inside a tunnel, and had him officially declared dead.In the end, at least 135 civilians died and scores more were injured. More than 2,500 homes were completely or partially destroyed. A previous United Nations commission of inquiry found that the Israeli army did not appear to have taken precautions to verify that its targets were lawful or to minimise civilian casualties.

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