Amnesty International has called for a UN-mandated investigation into international violations committed during the ongoing Israeli air strikes across Gaza, including the continuing volley of ‘indiscriminate rocket fire’ from Palestinian armed groups into Israel. It also called on the UN to immediately impose a comprehensive arms embargo on the region, with the intention of preventing further violations of international humanitarian law and human rights by parties engaged in the conflict.
‘As the violence intensifies there is an urgent need for the UN to mandate an international independent fact-finding mission to Gaza and Israel to investigate violations of international humanitarian law by all parties to the conflict. This is the first crucial step towards ensuring that those who have committed war crimes or other serious violations can be held accountable,’ remarked Director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Amnesty International, Philip Luther, in a press release by Amnesty:
‘The international community must not repeat previous mistakes, standing by and watching the devastating consequences for civilians of both sides failing to abide by and enforce the laws of war. Swift UN action is needed as lives hang in the balance.’
Amnesty International is also calling on the UN to immediately impose a comprehensive arms embargo on Israel, Hamas and Palestinian armed groups with the aim of preventing further serious violations of international humanitarian law and human rights by the parties to the conflict, the press release further stated…
Pending such an embargo, all states must immediately suspend all transfers of military equipment, assistance and munitions to the parties, which have failed to properly investigate violations committed in previous conflicts or bring those responsible to justice.
Israeli air strikes have targeted civilian homes in Gaza, on the basis that they are the family homes of ‘Hamas operatives’. Homes and civilian facilities, including charity organizations, are destroyed with minimal or no warning to the families to leave.
However, as Amnesty reports, in several such cases, no reports of evidence have emerged to indicate that the alleged ‘Hamas operatives’ were inside these particular facilities at the time of the attacks, that the homes were being used to store munitions, or were otherwise being used for military purposes.