World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Israel/Gaza: Attacks on civilians add to war crimes

22 July 2014

Israel/Gaza: Attacks on medical facilities and civilians add to war crime allegations

The continuing bombardment of civilian homes in several areas of the Gaza Strip, as well as the Israeli shelling of a hospital, add to the list of possible war crimes that demand an urgent independent international investigation, said Amnesty International.

The third floor of the Al-Aqsa hospital in Deir al-Balah was struck by Israeli shelling, killing four people and wounding dozens, according to the Gaza Ministry of Health spokesperson.

“The attack on the Al-Aqsa hospital is the latest in a series of attacks on and near medical facilities in Gaza, which have been struggling to cope with thousands of injured people since the Israeli offensive began on 8 July,” said Philip Luther, Director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Amnesty International.

“There can be no justification for targeting medical facilities at any time. Attacks on medical facilities underline the need for a prompt, impartial international investigation mandated by the UN.”

Last week, the al-Wafa rehabilitative hospital in Shuja’iyyeh was severely damaged after being attacked twice by Israeli forces.

With the Israeli ground invasion in its fourth day and the death toll in Gaza exceeding 550 people, the majority of them civilians, there is an urgent need for the parties to agree to periodic pauses in the fighting to facilitate the evacuation of the dead and wounded. Additionally, with as many as 1.2 million people without water or sewage services, municipal workers and relief organisations need to carry out emergency repair work to prevent a public health catastrophe.

From Saturday night to Sunday morning, intense Israeli bombardment of Shuja’iyyeh killed more than 60 people, including at least 17 children and 14 women. More than 200 people are reported wounded, and civilians were forced to flee under fire. At least 13 Israeli soldiers were also killed overnight, the majority of them in Shuja’iyyeh.

Hamas has also continued to fire hundreds of indiscriminate rockets into Israel in violation of international law, killing two Israeli civilians and injuring others.

The Israeli military said that Shuja’iyyeh, a densely populated area with some 92,000 residents east of Gaza City, had been targeted because it was a “fortress” housing rockets, tunnels and command centres. Israeli military and government officials have repeatedly said that civilians were warned to evacuate the area days before it was attacked.

However, many civilians in Shuja’iyyeh and other areas did not evacuate because they had nowhere to go. All the UNRWA schools and other facilities opened as shelters are overflowing. Issuing warnings to evacuate entire areas does not absolve Israeli forces of their obligations to protect civilians under international humanitarian law.

“The relentless bombardment of Shuja’iyyeh and other civilian areas in the Gaza Strip, as well as the continuing indiscriminate rocket attacks on Israel, demand urgent international action to prevent further violations. The UN should impose an arms embargo on all sides, and all states should immediately suspend transfers of military equipment to Israel, Hamas, and Palestinian armed groups in the Gaza Strip,” said Philip Luther.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 


$1 Billion In Reparations For Iraq's Invasion Of Kuwait

UN Panel Pays Out Over $1 Billion in Reparations for Iraq's Invasion of Kuwait More>>

UN-Backed Tsunami Warning System Test

A view of the destruction caused by the Indian Ocean tsunami of 26 December 2004 in Point Pedro, a small fishing village in northern Sri Lanka. UN Photo/Evan Schneider More>>

Al Jazeera To Mark 300 Days Since Arrests Of Journalists

• 300 second montage to mark 300 days to be aired on Al Jazeera • Parents of Peter Greste say the past 300 days has been stressful Doha , 23 October, 2014 More>>

4 Months’ Jail For French Journos Should Be Enough

'We hope it will be a lesson for foreigners to not violate their visas in Indonesia.' More>>

Support Needed For Olive Farmers In Palestinian Territory

Olive trees in the Palestinian town of Ni'lin in 2008 were very close to expanding Israeli settlements. Photo: IRIN/Shabtai Gold More>>

ALSO:

Use Of Drones In Law Enforcement May Violate Human Rights

22 October 2014 – The increasing use of armed drones within domestic law enforcement risks depersonalizing the use of force and infringing upon the rights of individual citizens, a United Nations independent human rights expert warned today. More>>

Gaza: Pledges For Aid, Reconstruction Must Be Honoured

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (left) addresses the Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question. Security Council President for the month of October, María Cristina Perceval of Argentina, is at ... More>>

Ebola: UN Prepares For Arrival Of Trial Vaccines

In early October 2014, with the help of the US Navy, a new mobile laboratory opened at Island Clinic, one of the WHO-supported Ebola Treatment Units (ETU) in Monrovia, Liberia. Photo: WHO/R. Sørenson More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news