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Amnesty International: Israel committed war crimes in Lebanon during recent war
Amnesty International: Israel committed war crimes in Lebanon during recent war
23/08/2006
Israel committed "war crimes" by deliberately targeting Lebanese civilian infrastructure during the recent conflict with Hezbollah, Amnesty International said Wednesday. The human rights group said there was an "Israeli policy of deliberate destruction" of non-military targets. "Israel's assertion that the attacks on the infrastructure were lawful is manifestly wrong," the London-based group's executive deputy secretary general Kate Gilmore said as she launched their report into the hostilities. "Many of the violations identified in our report are war crimes, including indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks."The evidence strongly suggests that the extensive destruction of power and water plants, as well as the transport infrastructure vital for food and other humanitarian relief, was deliberate and an integral part of a military strategy." The report -- "Deliberate destruction or 'collateral damage'? Israeli attacks against civilian infrastructure" -- is based on research from Amnesty's own missions in Israel and Lebanon, plus interviews with dozens of victims. Amnesty said that taken together, statements, testimony and press reports showed a pattern indicating that Israeli bombardments on infrastructure were "not simply incidental to lawful military objectives" as they claimed. Gilmore added: "The pattern, scope and scale of the attacks makes Israel's claim that this was 'collateral damage' simply not credible. "Civilian victims on both sides of this conflict deserve justice. The serious nature of violations committed makes an investigation into the conduct of both parties urgent. The UN's humanitarian coordinator in the Middle East, Jan Egeland, on July 24 also criticized Israel's targeting of civilians saying it was wrong and a violation of humanitarian law. The 34-day war launched by Israel against Lebanon left nearly 1,300 Lebanese dead, most of them civilians including more than 300 children, as well as 160 Israelis, mostly soldiers. More than 900,000 people were displaced in bombardments estimated by economists to have cost Lebanon at least three billion dollars in lost infrastructure.
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