民間施設への爆撃、違法な政策が存在か?
2014年07月16日
イスラエルは精密攻撃を連呼するが、軍事目標を標的とせず民間人を多数殺害する攻撃を『精密』と呼ぶことなどまずありえない。遺憾なことに、最近調査されたガザでの事例は、大量の民間人殺害を行っているイスラエルによる長年の不法な空爆の一環だ。
サラ・リー・ウィットソン、中東局長

(ガザ)-ヒューマン・ライツ・ウォッチはイスラエル軍によるパレスチナ・ガザ地区への空爆を調査した。これらの空爆は、明らかに民間用である施設を一貫して標的とし、民間人の殺害を続けており、戦時国際法に違反すると、ヒューマン・ライツ・ウォッチは本日述べた。イスラエルは、軍事目標が標的ではなく、集団的な懲罰を与えることが目的の可能性がある攻撃や、民間施設の破壊を明らかな目的とする不法な攻撃を停止すべきだ。戦時国際法に違反する意図的あるいは重過失な攻撃は戦争犯罪に該当すると、ヒューマン・ライツ・ウォッチは指摘した。

イスラエルのガザ攻撃は2014年7月7日に始まった。イスラエル当局者は、ミサイル、航空爆弾、砲撃で500トン以上の爆発物を使用したと述べた。国連によれば7月14日時点で少なくとも178人が死亡、1,361人が負傷した(うち女性と子ども635人)。国連の暫定報告書によれば、死者のうち138人(77パーセント)が民間人。うち子どもは36人だ。攻撃により家屋1,255軒が破壊され、少なくとも7,500人が家を失った。

「イスラエルは精密攻撃を連呼するが、軍事目標を標的とせず民間人を多数殺害する攻撃を『精密』と呼ぶことなどまずありえない」と、ヒューマン・ライツ・ウォッチのサラ・リー・ウィットソン中東局長は述べた。「遺憾なことに、最近調査されたガザでの事例は、大量の民間人殺害を行っているイスラエルによる長年の不法な空爆の一環だ。」

パレスチナ側武装組織も、イスラエルの人口密集地域への無差別なロケット攻撃を停止すべきだ。イスラエル側の報道によれば、パレスチナの複数の武装勢力がイスラエルに1,500発のロケット弾を発射した。イスラエル側の民間人5人が負傷し、建物が破壊された。

イスラエル軍とパレスチナの武装組織による攻撃やロケット弾の発射は、5月から6月上旬にかけては少なかった。6月11日のイスラエル軍によるガザへの航空攻撃で、武装組織メンバーとされる男性1人とその息子1人がオートバイに乗っていたところを殺害された。これをきっかけにパレスチナ武装組織からロケット弾が発射され、7月7日のイスラエル軍による大規模攻撃へとつながった。イスラエルは、6月12日にヨルダン川西岸地区近くの入植地で、10代のイスラエル人男子3人が拉致・殺害された事件をハマスの犯行だと非難。6月13日には西岸地区で軍事作戦を展開。パレスチナ人少なくとも6人が殺害された。ハマスは誘拐事件を讃えたが、犯行は否定している。

ヒューマン・ライツ・ウォッチは、イスラエルが7月にガザに対し行った攻撃のうち4例を調査した。これらの攻撃では民間人に死者が出ている。いずれも正当な軍事目標をそもそも攻撃していないか、軍事上の成果と釣り合いの取れない民間人の犠牲が予想されていながら攻撃を実施したものだ。こうした攻撃は意図的でも重過失でも、紛争全当事者に適用されうる戦時国際法に基づく戦争犯罪を構成する。これらの事例について、イスラエル軍からは、部隊は合法的な軍事目標を攻撃していたこと、または民間人の犠牲を最小限にするよう行動したことを示す情報は一切提示されていない。

イスラエルは、ハマスなどの組織に属している、軍事的な役割を担っていない非戦闘員も「テロリスト」であり、したがって妥当な軍事目標であるとの誤った主張を唱えることを方針としている。これまでもこの主張に基づいて、不法な攻撃を数百回実施している。イスラエルは武装組織構成員とされる人びとの自宅も標的としているが、家屋が軍事目的に使用されているとの証拠は一切示していない。

6月11日、イスラエル軍はガザのハーン・ユーニス市に近い飲食店「ファン・タイム・ビーチ・カフェ」を攻撃。9人が死亡(2人は15歳の子ども)、3人が負傷(1人は13歳の少年)した。イスラエル軍報道官は、この攻撃は「あるテロリストを標的とした」ものだと述べた。しかし、ワールドカップの試合を観戦していた客の中に、軍事作戦に従事していた人物がいたとの証拠や、混雑した店内で「テロリスト」とされる人物1人を殺害することが、想定通り民間人に被害を及ぼすことを正当化する証拠は一切示さなかった。

7月11日には、イスラエルのミサイルがブレイジ難民キャンプ内の車両を攻撃し、乗っていた自治体職員2人が死亡する事件もあった。2人は空爆で破壊された道路のがれきを片付けたあとで、公用車であることがわかる車両に乗って帰宅していたところだった。被害者の親族によれば、2人はいずれも武装組織と無関係。運転手は7月7日以来毎日同じ車で同じ道を走っていた。爆発で車の屋根が吹き飛び、現場近くの自宅前に座っていた9歳の少女の腹部が一部裂け、8歳の妹も負傷した。ヒューマン・ライツ・ウォッチは、この車両内にも、攻撃のあった時点の当該地域にも軍事目標が存在していたことを示す証拠を一切発見できなかった。

7月10日のイスラエルの空爆では、ハーン・ユーニス難民キャンプで、仕立て職人モハンマド・アル=ハッジさんの自宅が攻撃された。民間人である家族7人が死亡した(うち2人は未成年者)。また民間人20人が負傷した。住民はヒューマン・ライツ・ウォッチに対し、8人目の犠牲者となった氏の息子(20歳)は、ハマスの軍事部門カッサム隊の下級兵士だったと述べた。イスラエル軍は、この攻撃については調査中としている。たとえこの男性が標的だったとしても、攻撃の性格は無差別的であるように思われ、成果に見合うものではない。

「1人の下級兵士がいるからといって、一家を皆殺しにするような恐ろしい行為を正当化することはおよそ不可能だ」と、前出のウィットソン局長は述べた。「イスラエル国防軍の兵員1人がいるイスラエル人の家屋は正当な軍事目標である、そんな論理をイスラエル側が受け入れるわけがない。」

調査対象とした4つめの空爆は7月9日に起きた。妊娠7か月のアマル・アベド・ガフルさんと、1歳の娘が死亡した。夫と3歳の息子も負傷した。目撃者によれば、一家は、複数のミサイル攻撃の標的となった集合住宅が建つ通りの向かいに住んでいた。近所の人は、イスラエル軍が小型の無弾頭「警告用」ミサイルを集合住宅に発射し、それから数分後に本格的なミサイル攻撃を行ったと述べた。しかし、この一家は警告に気づかず、逃げる時間もなかった。イスラエル当局者は集合住宅を標的とした理由を明らかにしていない。

イスラエル軍報道官事務所は7月8日付に出した最初の短い声明で、軍事攻撃は「テロ組織ハマスに属し、テロ活動に関与し、高弾道砲撃をイスラエルに向けて行った活動家の自宅4軒」を標的としたものだと主張した。軍は以降の声明で、「指令・管理」拠点あるいは「テロ活動のインフラ」として使用されている住居については、住民に退去警告を行った後に攻撃するのが軍の方針だと述べた。だが、この曖昧な主張を裏付ける情報は提示されていない。

イスラエルの人権団体B’Tselemは7月13日、イスラエル国防軍報道官は、現在の武力攻勢下で行われているこうした攻撃に関する声明文での言い回しを変えているが、攻撃した住宅に武器が隠されていると軍が主張した事例はたった1件だと指摘した。イスラエル軍当局者は7月12日付の発表で、軍はガザにある「さまざまな階級の将校の自宅100軒以上」を標的にしたと述べたと、イスラエルのニュース・サイトYnetは報じた。

住宅など民間施設が合法的な標的となるのは、軍事目的で現に使われている場合に限られる。確かに戦時国際法は、攻撃前に有効な警告措置を行い、民間人の被害を最小化することを推奨している。しかしだからといって警告を行ったところで、もともと不法な攻撃が合法化されるわけではない。

警告が意味を持つためには、攻撃前に民間人が退去し、安全な場所に避難する十分な時間が必要だ。ヒューマン・ライツ・ウォッチが調査した複数の事例で、イスラエルは警告を行っていた。しかし攻撃は5分以内に実施されている。ガザには防空壕がないため、民間人は実質的に避難する場所がないことが多い。

民間人や民間人の財産を標的とする攻撃は不法である。民間人と戦闘員を区別しない、または区別できない攻撃も同様だ。敵方の司令官や兵士の家族への懲罰を目的とする攻撃も、不法な集団的懲罰を構成する。不法かつ理由なく実施される、財産の広範な破壊をもたらす攻撃も禁止されている。

「家族への避難警告で、民間人の被害が減ることはあるかもしれない。しかし不法な攻撃の不法性自体はいささかも減じない」と、ウィットソン局長は述べた。「民間人を殺害する攻撃を合法とする理由をイスラエルは示していない。このことは、一連の攻撃が民間人を標的としたものであるか、民間人の財産を理由なく破壊しようとするものであるかという、重大な問いを生じさせる。」

国連人権理事会は、今回の紛争における国際人権法と国際人道法の違反行為に対処するために特別会合を開催すべきだと、ヒューマン・ライツ・ウォッチは述べた。人権理事会は国連人権高等弁務官事務所にマンデートを与え、公平な調査を行う現地調査団を結成し、双方による人権侵害行為をただちに公の場で報告し、全当事者と国連に勧告を行うよう求めるべきだ。

欧州連合(EU)とEU加盟国は、特別会合の招集と現地調査団の結成を支持すべきだ。また、以下の内容を含む決議に向けて行動をすべきである。

·       紛争当事者には、国際法に基づく民間人保護義務があることを強調すること

·       困窮する人びとに人道・医療支援を行い、これらの人びとが国外避難もできるよう、国境を開放しておくことが必要である点を強調すること

·       全当事者による国際人権法と国際人道法の違反行為を非難すること

·        重大な侵害行為について説明責任を果たすべきであることを強調すること

イスラエルパレスチナ両政府はともに、過去の武力紛争で自軍の構成員が行ったとされる戦争犯罪について、これを捜査する真剣な取り組みをまったく行っていない。ヒューマン・ライツ・ウォッチは、イスラエル軍によるこの10年間の重大な戦時国際法違反行為を、民間人への無差別殺害を中心に多数記録している。

2005年から2012年末にかけて、イスラエル軍によるガザでの軍事作戦で民間人1,474人が死亡し、建物数千棟が破壊された。同じ期間に、ハマスなどガザの武装組織は8,734発のロケット弾をイスラエルの居住地区に発射。砲弾が実際の標的に届かなったことで、民間人38人(イスラエル人26人、外国人2人、パレスチナ人10人)が死亡した。

パレスチナ解放機構(PLO)は、パレスチナ自治政府マフムード・アッバース大統領に対し、パレスチナ領内で全当事者が行った重大な国際法違反行為を捜査・訴追するため、国際刑事裁判所(ICC)の裁判権を要請するよう命じるべきだ。

イスラエル、ハマス、ガザ地区の武装組織に武器を提供する諸国は、国際人道法に違反する使用が確認されているか、その十分な疑いがある物資については一切の移送を停止すべきであり、そうした物資への資金提供や支援も停止すべきだと、ヒューマン・ライツ・ウォッチは述べた。米国はイスラエルに軍用の回転翼機・固定翼機のほか、ヘルファイア空対地ミサイルなどの弾薬を提供している。これらは違法なガザ空爆で使用されている。

「ガザでの戦争犯罪の訴追を双方が長年怠ってきたことは、法による正義と説明責任を実現する唯一の現実的な選択肢が、国際刑事裁判所の審理であることを示している」と、ウィットソン局長は述べた。「アッバース大統領がパレスチナ事態をICCに付託するまで、イスラエルによる不法な攻撃でさらにどれだけの民間人が殺害されてしまうのだろうか。」

ヒューマン・ライツ・ウォッチが調査した4件の攻撃の詳細は以下をご覧ください: 

Attack on the Fun Time Beach Café
At 11:30 p.m. on July 11, 2014, an Israeli attack on the Fun Time Beach coffee shop on the beach near Khan Yunis, in southern Gaza, killed nine civilians, including two 15-year-old boys, and wounded three, including a critically injured 13-year-old, survivors and family members told Human Rights Watch.

The New York Times reported that an Israeli military spokesperson, Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, said that the military had fired a “precision strike” with a missile and was “targeting a terrorist,” but did not provide information about the target’s identity or the timing of the attack on a crowded café.

Human Rights Watch found no evidence that any of the victims was a member of an armed group or that there was a military objective in the area.

About an hour before the attack, patrons and workers saw a small missile strike a second beach establishment, the Layali Café, about 150 meters away. They walked over and put out the small fire that was burning there, and returned to the Fun Time Beach café, where they planned to watch a broadcast of the World Cup at midnight. The patrons assumed that the small missile strike was a mistake or random shooting from Israeli naval forces, said survivors and relatives who had spoken to the victims shortly before the strike.

Relatives and survivors said the victims frequently went to the beach café. Khaled Qanan, 30, told Human Rights Watch that the attack killed two of his brothers, Mohammed, 25, a master’s degree student in Arabic, and Ibrahim, 28, who sold fish. Ramadan Sabbah, 37, the two victims’ brother-in-law, said:

They went to the beach café all the time, including every day since this operation started [on July 8]. They said they felt safer there than they did in Khan Yunis. But there was nothing to shelter them; it was just chairs and fabric. When we found the bodies, they didn’t have visible injuries. Ibrahim had only a small cut, but we found his body almost 200 meters away. Mohammed was found on the asphalt. The road is cracked from the explosion.
 

Human Rights Watch visited the site on July 12 and 13 but could not determine the weapons used in the attack due to extensive digging by relatives searching for the missing body of one of the victims.

The attack killed three members of the Astal family: Ahmad, 18, Suleiman, 15, and Mousa, 15, who died while being taken to the hospital, and severely wounded Mousa’s brother Naim, 13, relatives said. Human Rights Watch spoke briefly to Naim, who had extensive injuries, “I woke up in the hospital. I don’t know why they hit us,” he said.

Ramadan al-Astal, 19, Suleiman and Ahmad’s brother, told Human Rights Watch:

I was on the way to the café to watch the game but my motorcycle stalled. I called them at exactly 11:07 p.m. to tell them. They said there were four people there playing cards, and the three [relatives from the Astal family who died]. So I started to walk back home, and then I heard the explosion. I called my brothers, but they didn’t answer. I went there with my uncle. Three of the victims were still alive, but they died on their way to the hospital. There was a huge crater where the coffee shop was; the sea water was seeping into it. When we dug up the bodies the clothes had been burned off. I can’t understand why they targeted the café. Maybe they saw the lights go on when the guys turned on the generator, after they came back from [putting out the fire at] the Layali Cafe.
 

Family members said the other two survivors included Tamer al-Astal, 27, a construction worker whose back was broken; and Bilal al-Astal, the café owner.

Kamel Sawali, 37, said that the attack killed his brothers Ibrahim, 28, Homdi, 20, and Salim, 24, but that Salim’s body had not been found. The four men had worked together to run the café, which they had rented from Bilal al-Astal for the past five years. Sawali said:

I spoke to them 15 minutes before the strike, at 11:15 p.m., and they told me about how they’d gone to the Layali but that everything was fine. There was no reason to attack them. The café was just normal; some people went there to break the [Ramadan] fast, some were fishermen, some kids. The worst thing is that Salim is missing. We’ve called the Red Cross to coordinate with the Israeli military to search the beach again.
 

The brothers’ father, Bedaya Sawali, 61, said, “I lost my three youngest sons; I don’t care about the money we have lost on the café but one of them is still missing.”

Amna Serwana, 45, said that her son Mohammed, 18, was working at the coffee shop when he was killed. “He went there every summer to work for the last three years,” she said. “We tried to keep him home with us for Ramadan, but he said he liked the atmosphere there and that a lot of people were going to come to watch the game.”

Bureij Refugee Camp Killings
At around 12:30 p.m. on July 11, an Israeli airstrike with what witnesses and physical evidence indicate was a small missile struck a municipality vehicle from the Bureij refugee camp. The strike killed both of the municipal workers inside – Mazen Aslan, 52, and Shaharam abu al-Qaz, 43 – and badly injured Shaheed Girnawi, 8, and her sister Salwa, 9, who were in the front entry of their nearby home, witnesses and relatives told Human Rights Watch. Family members and witnesses said neither man was affiliated with any armed group. Human Rights Watch found no military objective in the vicinity of the attack.

Aslan worked for the municipality, his wife, Umm Khaled, 45, told Human Rights Watch. “In normal times he turned off and on the water valves to regulate the flow of water to different parts of the camp,” she said. “And during emergencies, he would go out in the municipality jeep to oversee the workers who cleared up the rubble from Israeli attacks.” Aslan had begun work at 10 a.m. every day since July 7, when the Israeli military offensive began, and used a Jeep Magnum painted white with a municipal logo and small flag, his wife said.

On July 11, Aslan drove the jeep to escort a bulldozer, operated by Abu Qaz, to a road that needed to be cleared of rubble from a prior airstrike. Aslan’s wife said:

But he had forgotten his official municipality employment paper, which he’s supposed to carry with him, so he called me to say he was coming to get it. He was driving back home in the Jeep and had brought [Abu Qaz] with him. I was just going outside to hand him the paper, but he went down the street a bit and then the missile hit. The Jeep flipped over. The missile hit my husband directly. There was nothing left to recognize him by. There was no reason to hit him. He would go out to work during every war; this is his third war [including the conflicts in 2008-09 and in 2012].
 

Human Rights Watch observed Aslan’s employment document [photo] and inspected the scene of the attack. A small crater was visible in the road where witnesses said the missile struck the Jeep, and there was what appeared to be dried blood on the outside walls of houses facing the street.

Abu Qaz’s brother Ismail said that he had spoken to his brother earlier that morning:

He and Mazen went out to clear the rubble. Shaharam drove the digger behind the jeep, and then they were coming back. My brother parked the digger in its municipality parking spot, and got into the Jeep. That was the routine: he would be driven back by whoever was in charge of overseeing the clearing work. There was nothing unusual that day.

Witnesses said that the force of the explosion blew the roof off the vehicle and into the doorway of a home where Shaheed and Salwa were sitting. Their older brother, Iyad Hilme Girnawi, 22, said in an interview on July 12:

My sisters were sitting in the corridor when the blast blew the roof into them. Shaheed was badly injured; everyone assumed she was dead. Her intestines were outside her body, and her head was open. She’s had three operations and is in the ICU [intensive care unit] but somehow she is still alive. They transferred her from Al Aqsa hospital in Deir al Balah to al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City. Salwa was injured but should be discharged from the hospital in a day or two.

A third witness, Salem abd-Khalil Girnawi, a 20-year-old university student, said the explosion wounded him while he was walking nearby: “At around 12:30 p.m. a Jeep Magnum drove past, and suddenly I found myself with blood all over. I saw some shrapnel in my body, washed myself, and someone took me to al-Aqsa hospital. There was nothing going on. I don’t know why they attacked.” Human Rights Watch observed injuries to Girnawi’s throat and head.

Al-Hajj Family Killing
At around 1:15 a.m. on July 10, an Israeli airstrike in the Khan Yunis refugee camp destroyed the home of Mahmud Lotfi al-Hajj, 57, and killed all those inside: al-Hajj, a tailor, his wife Basma, 48, and their children Fatmeh, 12, Saad, 17, Tarek, 18, Omar, 20, Asmaa, 22, and Nijleh, 29, relatives told Human Rights Watch.

The Associated Press quoted Lt. Col. Lerner, the Israeli spokesman, as saying the incident was under investigation, but that Israeli forces did not provide warnings before targeting members of armed groups who “use civilian premises to perpetrate attacks.” Human Rights Watch found no evidence that any of the victims used the Hajj family home to perpetrate attacks.

Omar al-Hajj had joined Hamas’s armed wing, the Qassam Brigades, several months earlier, though he did not yet have a rank in the group, one of his relatives told Human Rights Watch. Even if Omar al-Hajj was the intended target, Israeli forces should reasonably have known that the harm to civilians and property from the attack outweighed any expected, direct military advantage, making the attack disproportionate if not indiscriminate.

A neighbor, Abdallah Kulab, told Human Rights Watch that two missiles struck the Hajj family home. Other residents of the refugee camp said they believe three missiles hit the house. Another neighbor, Hossein Nadi, said he was standing at his window “when I saw an explosion and then the force of it sucked me out of the window” and knocked him unconscious.

Al-Hajj’s son Yasir, 24, said that he had lived in the home but was out walking when the attack occurred: “As I was walking back home, the explosion happened. I was just a few hundred meters away. The house was still crumbling when I made it back.” Yasir said he had received an automated phone call from Israeli security forces earlier that same day. “It was one of the generic, robot messages, that just said, ‘Stay away from Qassam,’ so I ignored it,” he said.

UN officials told Human Rights Watch that they estimated several hundred thousand Gaza residents have randomly received similar automated phone calls since July 7, which warn residents not to store weapons in their homes, blame Hamas for the conflict, and state that the Israeli military does not want to harm civilians.

Yasir al-Hajj said he had been employed by the Hamas government – which recently dissolved with the formation of a Palestinian “unity” government – as a civilian security guard in Rafah, at the smuggling tunnels underneath the Egyptian border, but that he is not part of Hamas’s military wing and has not participated in any military activities. Armed groups have used tunnels to smuggle weapons into Gaza, but Yasir’s account is consistent with the fact that the former Hamas government, which created a “tunnels authority” in control of security and taxation at the smuggling tunnels, employed civilian guards at other tunnels used to smuggle consumer goods. Israel has not identified who, if any of the victims, was a target of the strike.

Al-Hajj’s daughter Fida, who lives in Rafah and was not at her parents’ home on the night of the attack, told Human Rights Watch: “That night, they all went over to my uncle’s house after iftar [the meal during which a Ramadan fast is broken], had tea and coffee, and went home at around 12:15 or 12:30 in the morning, and half an hour later they were all killed. We didn’t have any photographs to show at the funeral. They were all burned up.”

The blast damaged buildings up to 30 meters away, and sent concrete, metal doors, and part of a wall flying, wounding people in the street. Muna al-Halabe, 42, who lives next door, said she and her four children were at home when the Hajj home was attacked:

Some of the kids were watching TV, some were on the computer, everything seemed normal. But then, I felt a large blast, and something fell on me. I was screaming and afraid because I couldn’t find my daughter. My 18-year-old, we found her trapped under rubble and got her out. We were lucky that we were in the back part of the house. We only lived because of that. One of the kids had just called my 17-year-old daughter to come to look at something on the computer. That’s exactly when airstrike happened, and a wall collapsed right where she had been. We couldn’t open the door because of the blast. The men from the neighborhood came in and kicked down the door so we could get out.

The explosion blew out the front walls of al-Halabe’s home, which is now uninhabitable. The National newspaper quoted another neighbor, Tawfiq al-Halabe, stating that he found body parts from victims on his property, and that the explosion caused his wife, Nidaa, 28, to miscarry in her fifth month of pregnancy.

Hospital officials at the European Hospital and the Nasser Clinical Center in Khan Yunis told Human Rights Watch that they had treated around 23 people wounded in the attack.

Abed Ghafour Family Killings and Home Destruction
At around 12:35 p.m. on July 9, Israeli forces struck the home of Said Ghafour, in Khan Yunis, and killed his relatives Amal Abed Ghafour, 30, who was 7-months pregnant, and Nirmeen, her 1-year-old daughter, who lived in a home across the street. Relatives found their bodies in the back of the house, beneath two walls that the force of the blast had knocked over, they told Human Rights Watch. The explosion wounded Amal’s husband, Joudah Abed Ghafour, 47, and their 3-year-old son, Mohammed.

Shortly before the airstrike, an Israeli military aircraft fired a small non-explosive missile at Said Ghafour’s home, in a procedure the Israeli military refers to a “knock on the roof” warning, witnesses said.

Human Rights Watch visited the area on July 13. The airstrike had completely destroyed Said Ghafour’s home, and severely damaged two homes on its left- and right-hand sides as well as the home opposite. Residents said that another Israeli airstrike hit the open field behind Ghafour’s home on July 11.

Ghafour’s brother Mazen, 40, a former employee of the Palestinian Authority, said that a warning missile struck his brother’s home at around 12:30 p.m. “We had less than five minutes before four missiles hit the house. It’s not enough time for a whole block to clear out. I ran to my parents’ home, which is next door, because it’s stronger and deeper than my home.”

Human Rights Watch could not confirm whether Said Ghafour is a combatant with an armed group. Because there were civilian casualties, Israel should provide information as to why the attack on the home was a military objective.

Mohammed Ghafour, 19, said that he was at home, about 30 meters from Said Ghafour’s building, at the time of the attack: “The missiles blew out our windows. This is a very crowded block, everything is apartment buildings with five or six apartments per building, and every family has five or six children. They hit Said’s house four times [on July 9]. We were surprised by the amount of damage. We thought that when they target a house, they only destroy it, not the ones around it.”

Several videos posted online appear to show small missiles striking the roofs of buildings shortly before large explosions, destroying buildings. One such video, which appears to have been filmed in Block 12 of al-Bureij Refugee Camp, a densely crowded are in Gaza, shows a small explosion followed less than one minute by a massive explosion. Human Rights Watch could not verify the date of the video.