Human rights group calls for arms embargo after unlawful attacks in Gaza conflict

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: (Published 07 July 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b2756
  1. John Zarocostas
  1. 1Geneva

    Israeli forces killed hundreds of unarmed Palestinian civilians and destroyed thousands of homes in attacks that breached the laws of war, concludes a report by Amnesty International into the conflict in the Gaza Strip in December and January.

    Its report says: “Israel’s failure to properly investigate its forces’ conduct in Gaza, including war crimes, and its continuing refusal to cooperate with the United Nations’ independent fact-finding mission headed by [the former South African Constitutional Court judge] Richard Goldstone, is evidence of its intention to avoid public scrutiny and accountability.”

    Rockets fired by Palestinian armed groups into southern Israel also violated international humanitarian laws and cannot be justified under any circumstances, said Donatella Rovera, the report’s lead author.

    “Such unlawful attacks constitute war crimes,” she said.

    The report recommends that the United Nations impose a comprehensive arms embargo on Israel and the Palestinian armed groups.

    The Israeli government has said that the report is unbalanced.

    Amnesty International says that most of the cases of shootings at close range that it investigated in the Gaza Strip …

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