Wednesday, Sept. 02
Latest News
  1. Palmyra temple destruction a 'crime against civilization'
  2. Saudi-led coalition air strikes in south Yemen kill 20
  3. Lebanon police ejecting protesters from ministry
  4. Libya car bomb wounds one, damages office of Eni firm
  5. UN envoy to meet with Libya's Tripoli parliament ahead of talks
  6. Border agency: Migrants using fake Syrian passports to enter EU
  7. Migrant trains arrive in Austria as crisis deepens
  8. Turkish court arrests British journalists on terror charges
  9. Locals: Boko Haram kills nearly 80 in NE Nigeria villages
  10. Austria smuggler crackdown as Europe divided over migrant crisis
  11. 'Largest ever' Med gas field found off Egypt
  12. Egypt muezzin suspended over 'Facebook prayer call'
  13. 3 Canadians, Pakistani, Nigerian among dead in Saudi fire
  14. 'A Sinner in Mecca' documents gay Muslim pilgrimage
  15. A year on, Yazidis so close yet so far from Iraq hub
  16. Delayed Egypt elections to start on October 17
  17. Blast at Syria's Palmyra prompts fears for famed temple
  18. 11 dead, dozens hurt in fire at Saudi oil giant housing complex
  19. Red Crescent: 7 bodies wash up on Libya beach
  20. Egypt elections to start on October 17

UN: Israeli strikes on Palestinian homes could breach laws of war

July 11, 2014 6:19 P.M. (Updated: July 13, 2014 11:41 A.M.)
GENEVA (AFP) -- Israel could be violating the laws of war by bombing Palestinian homes in Gaza, the UN's human rights office said Friday, as the death toll from the Israeli strikes rose to over 100.

"We have received disturbing reports that many of the civilian casualties, including of children, occurred as a result of strikes on homes," said spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani.

"Such reports raise doubts about whether the Israeli air strikes have been in accordance with international humanitarian law and international human rights law," she told reporters.

International humanitarian law is UN-speak for the laws of war, and Shamdasani said targeting homes was a violation unless the buildings were being used for military purposes.

"In case of doubt, buildings that are ordinarily used for civilian purposes, such as homes, are presumed not to be legitimate military targets," she said.

"Even when a home is identified as being used for military purposes, any attack must be proportionate, offer a definite military advantage in the prevailing circumstances at the time, and precautions must be taken to protect civilians," she added.

Israel has accused Hamas and other Palestinian militants who have fired hundreds of rockets at its territory of deliberately placing military installations in densely-populated Gaza in order to use civilians as human shields.

"Military assets should not be located in densely-populated areas and attacks should not be launched from such areas," said Shamdasani.

"This is a call to the armed groups on the Palestinian side," she added, condemning their attacks on Israeli civilian areas, which have injured less than a dozen people.

"On the Israeli side, however, their responsibility in international law is very specific. If there is even an iota of a doubt, homes are not legitimate military targets. And if these homes are being used for military purposes, attacks must be proportionate, and precautions must be taken," said Shamdasani.

"It is incumbent on both parties to ensure that their military operations respect the law, no matter what the obstacles and no matter what the difficulties."
Powered By: HTD Technologies
Ma'an News Agency
All rights reserved © 2005-2015