Human Rights Watch calls Gaza destruction ‘unlawful’

The Israeli army unlawfully destroyed civilian property in its 22-day offensive in Gaza in 2008 and 2009, a report by Human Rights Watch says, BBC informed.

Israeli forces destroyed buildings that had “no military significance”, a grave breach of the Fourth Geneva Conventions, the report said.

The New-York based group have documented 12 cases that they say must be investigated. The IDF denies the charges and says it has investigated the incursion already.

Palestinians and rights groups say more than 1,400 Gazans died in the conflict, known as Operation Cast Lead, but Israel puts the figure at 1,166. Thirteen Israelis, including three civilians, were killed.

Human Rights Watch documented the complete destruction of 189 buildings, including 11 factories, 8 warehouses and 170 residential buildings, leaving at least 971 people homeless during the operation which began in December 2008.

The 12 incidents documented in the report account for roughly 5% of the homes, factories and warehouses destroyed in Gaza during the operation the report said.