HRW: Israel Targets Fleeing Palestinian Civilians
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Human Rights Watch (HRW) slammed Israel in its latest report for targeting and killing Palestinian civilians who are seeking to flee the fighting, adding that Israel army violated the laws of war.
HRW cited several witness accounts who managed to get out of the southern Gaza town of Khuza’a between July 23 and July 25, who described Israeli forces targeting Palestinians civilian fleeing to Khan Younis seeking shelter or medical help.
“Israeli forces in the southern Gaza town of Khuza’a fired on and killed civilians in apparent violation of the laws of war in several incidents between July 23 and 25,” HRW said in the report.
“Deliberate attacks on civilians who are not participating in the fighting are war crimes.”
Khuza’a, which has a population of around 10,000 people, became a hot target in Israel’s ground offensive on July 23, RT reported.
The report also highlights the difficulty medical staff have reaching the injured civilians safely, citing the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) case from July 25. One of the organization’s volunteers died after being critically wounded as he was trying to help civilians in Khuza’a.
“The horrors of war are bad enough for civilians even when all sides abide by the law,” Whitson said. “But it’s abhorrent that Israeli forces are making matters even worse by so blatantly violating the laws of war designed to spare civilians.”
Meanwhile on Monday, UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) condemned an Israeli missile strike near an UNRWA shelter in Rafah that killed nine people Sunday, including five children.
UNRWA also reported that according to preliminary investigations five of its emergency shelters have been targets of IDF air strikes. One of the shelters was hit twice.
The death toll in Gaza has hit over 1,800 since Israel launched its operation Protective Edge on July 8, while Israel has been under international pressure to deescalate the situation.