Strikes on Gaza high-rises were ‘war crimes’

Israeli airstrikes on four multi-storey buildings towards the end of its 50-day military assault on Gaza this summer amounted to war crimes, rights group Amnesty International has said.

A new report released by the London-based rights organisation on Tuesday claimed that the attacks on the civilian buildings on the last four days of the war were deliberate.

The group called for an independent probe in these four cases.

“All the evidence we have shows this large-scale destruction was carried out deliberately and with no military justification,” said Philip Luther, Director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Amnesty International.

“Both the facts on the ground and statements made by Israeli military spokespeople at the time indicate that the attacks were a collective punishment against the people of Gaza and were designed to destroy their already precarious livelihoods.”

The group also said that although the Israeli military had warned residents of the buildings to leave before they were destroyed, a number of people from nearby buildings were injured.

Israel used controversial techniques, including distributing leaflets and “roof-knocking” – where a small missile strikes the roof of a building as a warning for the residents to leave – before airstrikes level the building.

Read more