Amnesty International has announced that it will lobby the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) regarding justice for the victims of Operation Cast Lead, according to reports from the Alternative Information Centre.Operation Cast Lead continued from 27th December 2008 until the 18th January 2009. According to Israeli human right’s organization, BT’selem, the operation resulted in 1385 Palestinian deaths, of these, 762 were non-combatants and a further 248 were police officers. According to BT’selem, 318 children were killed. 13 Israelis died, including 3 civilians. Amnesty stated that it will call upon the UNHRC ‘to respond to the demands of the families of the hundreds of civilians who died during the conflict and the thousands left injured or homeless by it.’ The 16th session of the UNHRC will meet from 28th February until 25th March 2011. Amnesty has been critical of both Israeli and Palestinian investigations into human rights violations during the conflict.
In addition to the immediate casualties, the operation also devastated much of Gaza’s infrastructure, leading to ongoing shortages and other problems. Israel and Egypt continue to enforce a blockade preventing supplies from getting into the Gaza strip. According to the UNHRC, in 2010 Israeli uses of force caused the deaths of 58 in Gaza, including 22 civilians.