Amnesty International calls for investigating four Israeli bombings against Rafah in Gaza as possible war crimes

The non-governmental organization International Amnesty has demanded this Monday that they investigate how possible war crimes Four attacks carried out in December and January by the Israeli Army against the city of Rafah, in the south of the Gaza Strip, which left nearly one hundred civilians dead, including more than 40 children.

The NGO has indicated that the four attacks – three in December and one in January – hit several buildings in the city, where 1.4 million Palestinians currently reside, including nearly 1.2 million displaced from other areas of the city. Loop. The bombings left 95 civilians dead, including 42 minors.

Thus, he stressed that he has not found “any indication” that the places attacked could be considered “legitimate military objectives” or that the people who were in the buildings were “military objectives”, which is why he stressed that he fears that they were attacks. “direct” attacks against civilians that, therefore, should be investigated as war crimes.

Amnesty has emphasized that, although the Israeli Army’s intention had been to attack military targets in the area, “it is clear that “There was no distinction between military objectives and civilian objects,” which would reveal that these bombings would have been indiscriminate in nature.

The general director of Research, Advocacy, Policy and Campaigns at Amnesty International, Erika Guevara Rosas, has pointed out that “entire families were annihilated in the Israeli attacks even after having sought refuge in areas promoted as safe and without any prior warning from the Israeli authorities”.

“These attacks illustrate the ongoing blatant violation of international law by Israeli forces, which contradicts claims by Israeli authorities that their forces are taking maximum precautions to minimize harm to civilians.” , has reviewed.

In this way, he detailed “among the people who died in these illegitimate attacks there was a baby who was not yet three weeks old, a prominent 69-year-old retired doctor, a journalist who welcomed displaced families into his home, and a mother who shared a bed with his 23-year-old daughter.

“A stain on the collective conscience”

“The testimonies shared by grieving survivors should serve as a reminder that these crimes in Gaza are a stain on the world’s collective conscience,” Guevara argued, according to a statement published by the organization along with the publication of the report.

“Following the fundamental provisional ruling of the International Court of Justice, according to which the risk of genocide is real and imminent, the horrendous details of these cases reinforce the urgency for all States to press for an immediate and sustained ceasefire, which is the most effective way to implement the provisional measures ordered by the ICJ. They also underline the importance of imposing a comprehensive arms embargo on all parties to the conflict,” he recalled.

Thus, Guevara has assured that the investigation “offers clear indications of the terrible ravages of Israel’s incessant and illegitimate attacks on Gaza.” “Four months have passed since Israel’s offensive began, more than 28,000 Palestinians have been killed and more than 60,000 have been injured in the midst of an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe,” he recalled.

“In the face of the appalling scale of death and destruction, all States have an unequivocal obligation to act to prevent genocide, but key States have not made a clear call for a ceasefire and continue to fuel war crimes by supplying weapons to Israel,” he said.

“The families of several victims have said that the fight for some measure of justice is the only thing that keeps them motivated despite their losses and emphasize the importance of combating the long-standing impunity for war crimes and other violations of international law committed. by Israeli forces,” he stressed.

In this way, he has emphasized that “this includes the urgent need for the Prosecutor’s Office of the International Criminal Court (ICC) expedite the ongoing investigation into evidence of war crimes and other heinous crimes committed by all parties.”

Investigations into the attacks

The NGO has revealed that it visited the places targeted by the four attacks, three of which were carried out overnight, took photographs and videos of the destruction and interviewed 18 people – fourteen survivors and four relatives of the victims who participated in the search and rescue operations.

The first of the attacks was carried out against two houses of the Palestinian Harb family in the Al Zuhur neighborhood and killed 25 civilians, including ten minors and an eight-month pregnant woman. “I heard a huge explosion,” says Islam Harb, who lost three of his four children in the attack – five-year-old twin girls and a six-month-old baby.

“I don’t remember seeing anything, I just heard a very loud explosion and I lost consciousness. I woke up in the hospital. The first thing I remember was asking about my children. Only Lin, four years old, survived,” he says. My family spent seven days trying to remove the dead from the rubble. My brother Jalil’s body was found 200 meters from the house due to the power of the attack, destroyed. The little bodies of children were torn to pieces,” he laments.

A second attack destroyed a three-story house in the Brazil neighborhood owned by Abdalá Shehada, a former director of the Abu Yusef al Najar hospital who died in the attack along with 29 other civilians, including eleven children.

Yusef, Shehada’s son, maintains that “it was the house of a doctor who had dedicated his life to helping people and a house where displaced people sought refuge.” “We spent days trying to remove the bodies from the rubble, of people who just wanted to be safe,” he says.

The third bombing hit Omar Zurub’s two-story house in the west of the city, killing 22 people, including eleven children. The oldest fatality, Omar himself, was 75 years old, while the youngest was his great-niece Amira Aisha, less than three weeks old and who had not yet been registered in the civil registry.

Malak al Shaer, wife of Omar’s son Mamdú, claims that everyone was sleeping when the attack took place, after which she regained consciousness in the rubble. “I couldn’t open my eyes because they were full of glass, shrapnel and sand. My whole body was under the rubble, only one foot was visible. It took the rescuers maybe 20 minutes to get me out,” she says.

The woman suffered severe burns, also on her face, and suffers vision problems due to shrapnel lodged in her eyes, although she was discharged two weeks later due to the collapse of the health system in Gaza due to the offensive Israel. In one of the adjacent houses, owned by journalist Adel Zurub, the reporter and nine of the 70 displaced people he had welcomed into his home died.

The fourth of the attacks investigated It took place in January against a five-story building owned by the Nofal family in Tal al Sultan, a neighborhood where Israel asked the displaced to go. The bombing left 18 dead, including ten children. Nurse Nidal Nofal, a resident of the building, said several displaced relatives of Khan Yunis lived with her. “The map they (Israeli forces) sent specifically mentioned Tal al Sultan as one of the safe neighborhoods,” she says.

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