(JNS.org) The Israeli government has rejected what it is calling a “fundamentally flawed” Amnesty International report which claims there is “strong evidence” that the Israel Defense Forces committed war crimes following the capture of a soldier by Hamas during last summer’s Gaza war.
The Amnesty report, titled “Black Friday: Carnage in Rafah,” centers on August 1, 2014, a day that has since been dubbed “Black Friday,” when IDF soldier Lt. Hadar Goldin was captured by Hamas terrorists shortly after a 72-hour cease-fire was announced.
According to Amnesty, at least 135 civilians were killed during a massive air and ground assault by the IDF following the implementation of the so-called “Hannibal Directive,” which allows for an intense military response to prevent the capture of an Israeli soldier.
“Massive and prolonged bombardment began without warning while masses of people were on the streets, and many of them, especially those in vehicles, became targets,” Amnesty said.
“There is strong evidence that Israeli forces committed war crimes in their relentless and massive bombardment of residential areas of Rafah in order to foil the capture of Lieutenant Hadar Goldin, displaying a shocking disregard for civilian lives,” Philip Luther, director of the Middle East and North Africa Program at Amnesty, said in a statement.
But the Israeli Foreign Ministry rejected the report, calling it “fundamentally flawed in its methodologies, in its facts, in its legal analysis, and in its conclusions.”
“It seems that Amnesty forgot that there was an ongoing conflict—during which the IDF was operating to stop rocket fire and neutralize cross-border assault tunnels, and Palestinian terrorist organizations were actively engaging in intensive conflict against the IDF from within the civilian environment,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.