A detailed study after Operation Protective Edge proved 49% of the casualties in Gaza were terrorists, meaning the IDF achieved a 1:1 civilian to combatant ratio almost unprecedented in urban warfare - but it wasn't good enough for Amnesty International.
In a report released Wednesday by the London-based group, it claimed the IDF showed "shocking disregard" for civilians; Israel's Foreign Ministry has rejected the report, saying it produced "no evidence" to back up its claims and was essentially "a propaganda tool for Hamas and other terror groups."
Amnesty claimed eight cases in which the IDF attacked homes "without warning," asserting that "at least 104 civilians including 62 children" were killed. The rights group admitted terrorist targets were identified in some cases, but claimed "the devastation to civilian lives... was clearly disproportionate," adding the IDF may have "directly and deliberately targeted civilians or civilian objects, which would constitute war crimes."
On the other side, Amnesty lightly admitted "Palestinian armed groups also committed war crimes, firing thousands of indiscriminate rockets into Israel killing six civilians including one child." The figure does not take into account the 66 IDF soldiers killed in the operation.
"Radical ideological agenda under facade of human rights"
NGO Monitor responded to the accusations against Israel, noting the report repeats "the standard accusations of war crimes, including claims that the Israeli military purposefully targeted civilians. The charges will again be made despite Amnesty’s lack of access to military intelligence and other vital decision-making information necessary to support its politicized allegations."
"Amnesty’s claims had no validity when they were first made, without evidence, during the fighting, and they have no more credibility now, despite the facade of ‘research’ and ‘investigations,'" said Prof. Gerald Steinberg, president of NGO Monitor. "For many years, we have shown that Amnesty’s ‘reports’ on Israel lack credibility and are based on double standards that reflect a radical ideological agenda under the facade of universal human rights."
Israel's Foreign Ministry released a statement on the report, noting Amnesty ignored "documented war crimes perpetrated by Hamas, including the use of human shields, as well as ammunition storage and firing at Israeli civilian population centers from within schools, hospitals, mosques and civilian neighborhoods in Gaza."
The IDF has revealed Hamas's deep embedding of its terrorist infrastructure in the heart of the civilian population, including UN facilities, and cynical use of human shields to protect terror targets.
The Amnesty report of "no warning" in the eight supposed cases refers to the fact that the IDF sent SMS warnings and dropped dud missiles on houses to warn Gazans to get out of danger, aside from several targeted strikes on key Hamas terrorists.
AFP contributed to this report.