Human Rights Watch revealed that Israeli army intentionally and unlawfully destroyed Palestinian property, falsifying claims that Palestinians used them for military purposes, during the January 2009 Israeli war on the Gaza Strip.“Israel should investigate the unlawful destruction of civilian property during the 2009 Gaza hostilities and lift the blockade that hinders residents from rebuilding their homes,” Human Rights Watch said, in a report released Thursday.
The 116-page report indicates that there are at least 12 documented separate cases during Operation Cast Lead in which Israeli forces extensively destroyed civilian property, including homes, factories, farms, and greenhouses, in areas under their control, without any lawful military purpose.
‘Almost 16 months after the war, Israel has not held accountable troops who unlawfully destroyed swaths of civilian property in areas under their control,’ said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch.
The report also slams the siege on the Gaza Strip and demands the International community to urgently call upon Israel and Egypt to open the borders to reconstruction materials and other supplies essential for the besieged 1.5 civilian population of the coastal enclave.
‘Israel’s blockade continues to keep Gazans from rebuilding their homes, meaning that Israel is still punishing Gaza’s civilians long after the fighting is over,’ the report says.