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Israel/Palestine: Grave Concerns for Civilians in Ground Offensive

Laws of War Protect Those Who Can’t, Don’t Flee

Smoke rises after an air strike in the Gaza Strip on Monday, Oct. 9, 2023. © AP 2023

(Jerusalem) – Israel began major ground operations in the Gaza Strip on October 28, 2023. During the last major Israeli ground operation into Gaza in July and August 2014, Israeli forces committed numerous violations of the laws of war – including fatally firing on civilians – that amounted to war crimes. These violations were never prosecuted. Palestinian armed groups also deliberately launched numerous rocket attacks towards Israeli communities in 2014, which are war crimes. They also deployed and kept munitions in areas that unnecessarily put civilians at risk.

The following quote can be attributed to Tirana Hassan, executive director at Human Rights Watch:

“Israel’s major ground offensive in Gaza, following weeks of bombardment that have reduced large parts of neighborhoods to rubble, raises grave concerns for the safety of all civilians caught in the fighting. Thousands of children and other civilians have already been killed. Palestinian armed groups are continuing to indiscriminately launch rockets at Israeli communities. All civilians, including the many who cannot or do not want to leave their homes in northern Gaza, retain their protections under the laws of war against deliberate, indiscriminate, or disproportionate attacks.”

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