Intended for healthcare professionals


Israeli forces are accused of wide ranging human rights violations in Gaza last summer

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: (Published 02 February 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h593
  1. Owen Dyer
  1. 1Montreal

An independent report commissioned by the Israeli doctors’ group Physicians for Human Rights—Israel has accused Israeli forces of attacking hospitals and clinics throughout Gaza during last summer’s military campaign there. Israeli forces also used weapons indiscriminately in residential areas, prevented the safe evacuation of wounded civilians, and repeatedly fired on ambulance staff, the report concluded.1

The evidence collected should be used “for the purposes of legal determination of violations of international human rights and humanitarian law, whether through local or international justice mechanisms,” the authors wrote.

Prosecutors at the International Criminal Court in Hague this month began a preliminary investigation into possible war crimes during last summer’s conflict. Days later Israel’s own state comptroller announced a similar investigation.

Physicians for Human Rights—Israel, which regularly challenges Israel’s government in the courts over its treatment of patients trying to leave the occupied territories for medical treatment abroad, assembled a team of eight foreign experts to make three fact finding missions to Gaza. Four experts work in forensic medicine and pathology, the others …

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