Israel used heavy weapons against the civilian population in Gaza

Israel used heavy weapons against the civilian population in Gaza

BarcelonaA report issued by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, published on Wednesday, confirmed that the Israel Defense Forces used heavy weapons against the civilian population in the attack on Gaza. According to the report, such attacks could constitute crimes against humanity. The paper analyzed six Israeli attacks between October 9 and December 2, 2023, in which the GBU-31, 900 kg, GBU-32, 450 kg, and GBU-39, weighing approximately 100 kg, were used against a school and residential buildings. And market. And refugee camps. These bombings killed at least 218 people and destroyed civilian infrastructure on a large scale. According to the report, the Israeli army may have repeatedly violated basic principles of the laws of war.

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These types of bombs are primarily used to penetrate multiple floors of concrete and can completely collapse large structures. Given the high population density in the areas targeted by the attacks, the use of an explosive weapon with wide-area effects would very likely amount to a prohibited indiscriminate attack, as detailed in the report.

The United Nations says that in one of the six bombings, which occurred in the Shujaiya neighborhood of Gaza City, the attack caused devastation in an area of ​​about 130 metres, destroying 15 buildings and damaging at least 14 others. The size of the impacts and craters that can be seen from visual evidence and satellite images indicate that approximately nine GBU-31 bombs, each weighing 900 kg, were used. This single attack led to the death of at least 60 people.

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UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk said: “The requirement to choose means and methods of warfare that avoid or at least minimize harm to civilians appears to have been consistently violated in Israel’s bombing campaign.” . Along these lines, the report details that unlawful targets, when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack against a civilian population, may also involve the commission of crimes against humanity.

In three of the attacks, the IDF claimed to have targeted individuals connected to attacks in Israel on October 7 and 8, 2023. However, as the report states, the mere presence of a commander, or even several combat personnel, or the presence of multiple military targets in an area , does not make an entire neighborhood a military target, as this would violate the principle of proportionality and the prohibition of indiscriminate attacks.

While the report focuses on Israel, it also highlights that Palestinian armed groups have continued to fire indiscriminate projectiles into Israel, in contravention of their obligations under international humanitarian law.

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