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Israeli Attacks on Civilians in Gaza Equals War Crimes: Amnesty

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Amnesty International accuses Israel of flouting the laws of war after Israeli forces attacks targeting Palestinian civilians.

MOSCOW, November 5 (RIA Novosti) — Amnesty International on Wednesday slammed the "callous indifference" of Israeli forces carrying out attacks targeting Palestinian civilians during the recent 50-day conflict in Gaza.

"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," Philip Luther, director of the Middle East and North Africa program at Amnesty International was quoted as saying in a report published on the organization's website.

In eight cases documented by Amnesty international in the report, Israeli aircraft dropped aerial bombs on or launched missiles "at homes they knew or should have known has civilians inside," in disregard to International Humanitarian Law, the report stated.

The attacks resulted in the death of 104 civilians and destroyed the homes of 150 people, among them 62 children, in the cases documented from July 8 to August 26, when a ceasefire between the two sides was agreed.

According to Amnesty, the civilian casualties in Gaza were "disproportionate" to the advantages gained by the Israeli military and that no prior warnings of attacks were issued to the residents of the buildings targeted.

Israel began an offensive in Gaza on July 8, following intense clashes between both sides. On August 26, the Palestinian Authority and Israel, with the mediation of the Egyptian government, agreed to an open-ended truce.

However, clashes continue despite the ceasefire. Last week, there was an escalation in firefights between Israeli police and Arabs in East Jerusalem after a city official approved the construction of new settlements on land claimed by Palestinians. Following the clashes, Israel closed two border crossings, which were reopened Tuesday.

According to UN estimates, more than 2,192 Palestinians died during Israel's 50-day operation in Gaza. By the time of the ceasefire, 110,000 Palestinians were internally displaced and 37,650 homes were destroyed.

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