Israeli use of heavy bombs raise 'serious concerns' under laws of war: UN

Israel's repeated use of heavy bombs in the densely-populated Gaza Strip indicates repeated violations of the laws of war, the U.N. said on Wednesday, highlighting six attacks that killed at least 218 people.

In a fresh report, the United Nations rights office provided details on the six attacks, which it said were emblematic of a concerning pattern, involving the suspected use of up to 2,000-pound bombs on residential buildings, a school, refugee camps and a market.

The rights office said it had verified 218 deaths in those attacks, which were carried out in the early months of the war that erupted in Gaza on Oct. 7, 2023, but said it had information indicating the number of fatalities "could be much higher."

"The requirement to select means and methods of warfare that avoid or at the very least minimize to every extent civilian harm appears to have been consistently violated in Israel's bombing campaign," U.N. rights chief Volker Turk said in a statement.

The report concludes that the series of Israeli strikes, exemplified by the six attacks carried out between Oct. 9 and Dec. 2 last year, suggested that Israel's military had "repeatedly violated fundamental principles of the laws of war," the statement said.

Among the attacks listed were the strikes on Ash Shujaiyeh neighbourhood, in Gaza City on Dec. 2 last year.

It caused destruction across an approximate diagonal span of 130 meters, destroying 15 buildings and damaging at least 14 others, it said.

The extent of the damage and the craters visible and seen on satellite imagery indicated that around nine 2,000-pound GBU-31 bombs were used, it said, adding that it had received information that at least 60 people were killed.

GBU-31s, along with 1,000-pound...

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