Israel rejects Amnesty war crime claim


Amnesty International has claimed that Israeli air strikes against four high-rise buildings in Gaza during the summer amounted to “war crimes”.

The al-Basha Tower complex – which housed around 30 flats, TV and radio stations – was flattened during the strikes. There were no fatalities.

Amnesty called for an investigation into the strikes in a report into the incident.

But Israel says the organisation has ignored the fact that Hamas was using the buildings for military purposes.

A spokesman for the Israeli embassy in London said: “Amnesty in its latest report on this summer's conflict between Israel and Hamas, chooses to focus on monetary losses to Palestinian civilians, rather than investigate the systematic and deliberate firing of rockets and mortars at Israel's civilian population by an internationally-recognised Jihadist terror group.

“Amnesty refers to targeting by the IDF of four buildings in Gaza. It acknowledges that the IDF went to great lengths to avoid civilian casualties, including advance phone calls, the dropping of leaflets, notice to residents to maintain a safe distance from the buildings, as well as 'knock on the roof' warning missiles. These measures are unprecedented in modern warfare, and Amnesty's report explicitly states that no one was killed in the strikes.”

He added: “The absence of reports on Hamas, coupled with outrageous public statements by Amnesty officials recently, comparing Israel to the terror group ISIL, cast serious doubt as to Amnesty's capacity to play a constructive role in covering this issue.”

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