Human rights groups says war crimes committed in Lebanon-Israel war
In a statement made on Wednesday by international human rights organization Amnesty International, the group accused Israel of indiscriminate attacks against Lebanese civilians--an act that may amount to war crimes.
Amnesty International pointed out that one third of Lebanese casualties of war were children, according to Reuters, and that water and power plants and other essential public utilities were damaged as well as hospitals in the Israeli campaign against Hizbullah.
"Israel may also have violated other prohibitions, including that on direct attacks against civilian objects. These violations are war crimes," the group said according to Reuters.
This is not the first time a human rights group has accused Israel of possible war crimes for targeting civilians. The tactic, used by Israel and Hizbullah in the recent war, has led Amnesty International to call for the establishment of an independent inquiry into international humanitarian law violations that two sides may have committed.
Meanwhile, Human Rights Watch has also made accusations of possible war crimes in a report published earlier this month. According to the group, Hizbullah demonstrated "serious violations of international humanitarian law and probable war crimes," in its indiscriminate attacks on Israeli cities.
Under international humanitarian law, deliberately attacking civilians and indiscriminate attacks on civilian areas can constitute war crimes.
“Attacking civilian areas indiscriminately is a serious violation of international humanitarian law and can constitute a war crime,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, director of the Middle East and North Africa division at Human Rights Watch.
In response, Human Rights Watch called on both Hizbullah and Israel to respect the absolute prohibition against targeting civilians or conducting indiscriminate attacks in civilian areas.
The group also warned that warheads used by Hizbullah during its campaign contained metal ball bearings that are "of limited use against military targets but cause great harm to civilians and civilian property."
Israel, on its part, carried out some 7,000 air attacks against 7,000 targets, according to Amnesty International, with some 4,000 missiles launched by Hizbullah on Israeli targets during the war.
Amnesty International added that Israel claimed it was targeting Hizbullah positions and support facilities, a claim many deem as dubious considering the number of civilians killed during its attacks.