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Human Rights Watch Calls Rocket Attacks From Gaza War Crimes
Israel's Iron Dome missile defense system (L) intercepts rockets (R) fired by the Hamas movement from Gaza City toward Israel early on May 16, 2021. (Mohammed Abed/AFP via Getty Images)

Human Rights Watch Calls Rocket Attacks From Gaza War Crimes

Deadly rocket attacks on civilian communities in southern Israel from Gaza, some of which fell short and struck civilian areas of northern Gaza, amount to war crimes, according to the NGO Human Rights Watch. The attacks during the May cross-border conflict left 13 civilians dead in Israel and injured dozens, and “an undetermined number of Palestinians in Gaza,” according to a report released on Thursday by HRW.

“Palestinian armed groups during the May fighting flagrantly violated the laws-of-war prohibition on indiscriminate attacks by launching thousands of unguided rockets towards Israeli cities,” said Eric Goldstein, acting Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “The failure of both Hamas authorities and the Israeli government to provide accountability for alleged war crimes by their forces highlights the essential role of the International Criminal Court.”

HRW called on Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, to “stop unlawful rocket attacks toward Israeli population centers.”

The group noted that both the Palestinians and Israel’s rarely investigate their alleged war crimes, making the current investigation of May’s conflict by the International Criminal Court that much more important.

HRW last month reported on Israeli airstrikes in Gaza during the conflict that accounted for 62 of the 129 or more Palestinian civilians who were killed. These attacks violated the laws of war and amount to apparent war crimes, according to the organization.

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