Friday, 11 July 2014

UN: Israeli strikes on Palestinian homes could breach laws of war


GENEVA (AFP) -- Israel could be violating the laws of war by bombing Palestinian homes in Gaza, the UN's human rights office said Friday, as the death toll from the Israeli strikes rose to over 100.

"We have received disturbing reports that many of the civilian casualties, including of children, occurred as a result of strikes on homes," said spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani.

"Such reports raise doubts about whether the Israeli air strikes have been in accordance with international humanitarian law and international human rights law," she told reporters.

International humanitarian law is UN-speak for the laws of war, and Shamdasani said targeting homes was a violation unless the buildings were being used for military purposes.

"In case of doubt, buildings that are ordinarily used for civilian purposes, such as homes, are presumed not to be legitimate military targets," she said. more

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