Amnesty International accuses Palestinians of war crimes during Gaza conflict

A factory bursts in flames after a Gaza rocket attack on Sderot, Israel, in June 2014. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

( The human rights group Amnesty International on Wednesday issued a report accusing the Palestinian terrorist organizations Hamas and Islamic Jihad of committing war crimes during the conflict in Gaza last summer, through their indiscriminate firing of rockets and the killing of both Israeli and Palestinian civilians.

The new report marks the first analysis issued by Amnesty that focuses on Palestinian wrongdoing during the Gaza war, after the organization issued two earlier reports accusing Israel of war crimes for airstrikes on civilian buildings.

Amnesty’s report criticized the Palestinian missiles and mortars launched from Gaza that landed in Israel and killed Israeli civilians, as well as those that landed in a Gaza refugee camp and killed Palestinian civilians. Previously, Palestinians blamed the Israel Defense Forces for the refugee camp incident, but the human rights group said that evidence examined by independent experts concluded that a Palestinian rocket caused those casualties.

The group also criticized the Palestinian terrorist organizations’ practice of storing weapons in civilian buildings and United Nations schools, in addition to their launching of attacks on Israel from such locations and exposure of nearby civilians to the violence.

But the latest report by Amnesty, like the earlier reports, still accused the IDF of violating human rights.

"The devastating impact of Israeli attacks on Palestinian civilians during the conflict is undeniable, but violations by one side in a conflict can never justify violations by their opponents," Philip Luther, director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme of Amnesty International, said in a statement.

Posted on March 26, 2015 .