International bodies say Israel violated humanitarian laws
Israel violated international humanitarian laws during its military operation in the Jenin refugee camp in the West Bank, leading human rights organizations charged Monday.
Palestinians charge that Israeli troops committed a massacre of civilians during the operation, which ended with Israel's withdrawal April 11. Israel denies that, saying that most of the Palestinian casualties were gunmen or bombers.
The International Red Cross and U.N. Relief and Works Administration said the army ignored international norms on human rights in the camp. It also refused to help rescue Palestinians buried in the destruction, they said, according to AP.
"When we are confronted with the extent of destruction in the Jenin refugee camp, in an area of civilian concentration, it is difficult to accept that international humanitarian law has been fully respected," said Rene Kosirnik, regional chairman of the Red Cross.
In London, Amnesty International said it has evidence of human rights abuses, including the possible use of Palestinian detainees as human shields.
Amnesty, which recently began an investigation in the heavily damaged camp, said an international probe must be conducted to determine whether Israeli forces violated humanitarian laws or committed war crimes.
The human rights group did not present any evidence it said its investigators have come up with. It also said its preliminary investigation had found no evidence of mass graves.
Hospital officials in Jenin report fewer than 50 bodies have been recovered, but the Palestinians say hundreds of people were killed and may be buried under houses bulldozed by the Israeli army. Israel says the number of dead is fewer than 100.
Kosirnik did not detail which laws had allegedly been violated, but held up a copy of the Fourth Geneva Convention regarding the treatment of civilians in a war zone. (Albawaba.com)
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