MOSCOW, August 6 (RIA Novosti) – The Israel Defense Forces is responsible for major war crimes in Gaza and should be held criminally accountable, Bill van Esweld, a Human Rights Watch (HRW) activist, told RT.
“What has to happen is that the laws of war need to stop being violated and that finally for once in Gaza there needs to be criminal accountability for war crimes,” the activist said in an interview published Tuesday.
“Large numbers of civilians getting killed by very precise advanced weapons, despite the fact that there were no rockets being launched from their areas; there were no members of Palestinian armed groups in those areas. This has contributed to that incredible, terrible death toll. And that is even setting aside the massive amount of damage and the destruction of almost a thousand homes in Gaza,” van Esweld said.
On Tuesday, HRW slammed Israel in its latest report for targeting Palestinian civilians fleeing to the city of Khan Yunis.
After weeks of fighting, Israel and Hamas, the Palestinian militant group currently controlling the Gaza Strip, agreed on a ceasefire.
The ceasefire, concluded with the mediation of Egypt, came into effect Tuesday morning and is meant to last for three days. During this time, both sides are supposed to hold talks in Cairo. Israel said it has completed its main mission of destroying cross-border underground tunnels in Gaza and has withdrawn its troops from the Gaza Strip.
At least 1,800 Palestinians have been killed since the start of the conflict in early July. The Israeli side has lost 67 people.