'Strong evidence' of Israel war crimes on 'Black Friday': Amnesty

Amnesty International researcher Saleh Hijazi talks to journalists during a press briefing in Jerusalem on July 29, 2015. AFP Photo

An analysis of an Israeli assault in the Gaza Strip following the capture of one of its soldiers during last year's war in the Palestinian territory shows "strong evidence" of war crimes, Amnesty International said July 29.

The London-based rights group called for those responsible for the alleged offences to be prosecuted as it published a detailed analysis of the Israeli military operation using eyewitness accounts, satellite imagery, photos and videos.
"There is strong evidence that Israeli forces committed war crimes in their relentless and massive bombardment of residential areas of Rafah in order to foil the capture of Lieutenant Hadar Goldin, displaying a shocking disregard for civilian lives," Philip Luther, director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Amnesty International, said in a statement.
"They carried out a series of disproportionate or otherwise indiscriminate attacks, which they have completely failed to investigate independently."  

Israel strongly denied the accusations, calling Amnesty's report "fundamentally flawed in its methodologies, in its facts, in its legal analysis and in its conclusions".
"When one reads the report, the impression is given that the (Israeli military) was fighting against itself -- as there is almost no mention of the military actions of Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist organisations," the foreign ministry said in a statement.
The incidents addressed in the report centred on August 1, 2014, which has become known as "Black Friday," when Goldin was captured shortly after a ceasefire was announced. He was later declared dead.
In response, the military was said to have implemented the so-called Hannibal Directive -- a...

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