HRW: "Israel" violated international laws of war in Gaza

HRW: "Israel" violated international laws of war in Gaza

Human Rights Watch (HRW) accused "Israel" of violating international laws of war, after demolishing four multi-story buildings by air raids during its 11-day assault on the Gaza Strip in May.

The deadly bombardment killed 253 Palestinians, including 66 children, and forced tens of thousands to flee their homes.

"The apparently unlawful "Israeli" strikes on four high-rise towers in Gaza City caused serious, lasting harm for countless Palestinians who lived, worked, shopped, or benefited from businesses based there," said Richard Weir, crisis and conflict researcher for Human Rights Watch.

Among the multi-story targets were the nine-storey Al-Jawhara Tower on Al-Jalaa Street and the 12-story Al-Jalaa building, which housed the Associated Press news agency and several other media outlets. The building was also home to dozens of Palestinian families.

The destruction of the Al-Jalaa building was widely regarded as an attempt to silence journalists covering "Israel" 's military attacks. In less than a week, "Israel" bombed the offices of at least 18 media outlets.

HRW conducted interviews with 18 Palestinians who were either witnesses or victims of the airstrikes. In its investigation, the human rights organisation concluded that no evidence was found of military operations in the buildings when they were attacked. It also said that even if militants were using the buildings, "Israel" is obligated to avoid disproportionate harm to civilians.

"Throughout the May hostilities, unlawful "Israeli" strikes not only killed many civilians but also destroyed high-rise towers, wiping out scores of businesses and homes, upending the lives of thousands of Palestinians," Weir said. "Donor funding alone will not rebuild Gaza. The crushing closure of the Gaza Strip needs to end, along with the impunity that fuels ongoing serious abuses."