EIn a statement, the London-based non-governmental organization for the defense and promotion of human rights said it had evidence demonstrating how Israeli forces “continue to disregard international humanitarian law, destroying entire families with total impunity.”
The organization said it had carried out an investigation into four Israeli attacks, three in December 2023, after the end of the humanitarian pause, and one in January 2024, in Rafah, the southernmost province of the Gaza Strip, at a time when it was supposedly the “safest” area in the region, “but where Israeli forces are currently preparing for a ground operation”.
“This operation will certainly have devastating consequences for more than a million people who are trapped in an area of 63 square kilometers, following successive waves of mass displacement,” AI wrote in the document.
AI claims to have visited the sites of the four attacks and took photographs and videos of the destruction and interviewed 18 people, including 14 survivors and four family members who participated in the rescue operations.
According to AI, the organization’s Crisis Evidence Laboratory analyzed satellite images, photographs and videos to geolocate and verify the attacks and resulting destruction.
“At least 95 civilians, including 42 children, were killed in four illegal attacks in Rafah. The four attacks are likely direct attacks on civilians and civilian targets and should be investigated as war crimes,” AI said.
The organization stated that it did not find any indication that the residential buildings that were hit could be considered legitimate military objectives or that the people in the buildings were military targets.
“Evidence gathered by AI indicates that the Israeli military did not warn effectively, or at all – at least the people living in the affected areas – before carrying out the attacks. As with the other attacks, the Israeli authorities did not present a reason for this attack”, he highlighted.
According to Amnesty, four months after the start of the Israeli offensive, “more than 28,000 Palestinians have been killed and more than 60,000 injured in the midst of an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe.”
In the seven-page statement, AI reported “several terrifying testimonies from survivors” such as Islam Harb, 30, who lost three of his four children.
“I heard a huge explosion. I don’t remember seeing anything, I just heard such a loud sound and I lost consciousness. I woke up in the hospital and the first thing I remember was asking about my children. Only four-year-old Leen, survived. My family spent days trying to remove the remains from the rubble. My brother Khalil’s body [de 25 anos] it was found in pieces 200 meters away from the house, due to the force of the impact. My children’s small bodies were in pieces,” Harb said.
Read Also: Israeli attacks in Rafah leave “100 dead”. Two hostages freed
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