2 July 2009
Israeli forces killed hundreds of unarmed Palestinian civilians and destroyed thousands of homes in Gaza in attacks which breached the laws of war, Amnesty International concluded in a new report published on Thursday. Operation ‘Cast Lead’: 22 days of death and destruction, is the first comprehensive report to be published on the conflict, which took place earlier this year.
“Israel’s failure to properly investigate its forces’ conduct in Gaza, including war crimes, and its continuing refusal to cooperate with the UN international independent fact-finding mission headed by Richard Goldstone, is evidence of its intention to avoid public scrutiny and accountability,” said Donatella Rovera, who headed a field research mission to Gaza and southern Israel during and after the conflict.
“The international community, led by the UN Security Council, must use all its leverage to ensure that Israel cooperates fully with the Goldstone inquiry, which now offers the best means to establish the truth.”
The Amnesty International report documents Israel’s use of battlefield weapons against a civilian population trapped in Gaza, with no means of escape and is based on evidence gathered by Amnesty International delegates, including a military expert, during field research in January and February.
Israel/Gaza: Operation “Cast Lead”: 22 days of death and destruction
Index Number: MDE 15/015/2009
Date Published: 2 July 2009