Adalah to Defense Ministry: Israeli military should immediately stop targeting Palestinian civilians in Gaza and open investigations into alleged war crimes

Adalah: Several incidents constitute violation of principles of the laws of war, including attacks against civilians not involved in hostilities and not discriminating between civilians and combatants, between military and civilian targets.

Yesterday, on 10 July 2014, Adalah sent an urgent and detailed letter to the Minister of Defense, the Military Advocate General and the Attorney General demanding that they immediately act to stop the killing of and injury to the civilian population in Gaza, and to open investigations into cases of serious violations of international humanitarian law which may constitute war crimes. Adalah stated that, "As of 12 noon on 10 July 2014, 81 people, including 22 children and 15 women, had been killed in the Israeli military attacks on Gaza, and more than 530 people had been injured to varying degrees. Additionally, more than 300 homes had been bombed by Israeli military forces, of which more than 50 homes were completely destroyed.”

The letter, prepared by Adalah Attorneys Nadeem Shehadeh and Myssana Morany, brought numerous examples of civilian killings and damage to civilian property from the bombing attacks. In one case, the bombing of the Kawari’ family home in Khan Younis killed 8 civilians, including 6 children, with the injury of 25 others. Adalah noted that, according to the initial investigation conducted by the military itself, all the victims were defined as involved in the fighting. The military also bombed the Hamad family home in Beit Hanoun, killing 6 family members, including 5 civilians (3 of them women), and injuring 5, including 4 children.

Adalah argued that these incidents constitute a violation of the principles of the laws of war, because they include attacks against civilians who were not involved in hostilities, and do not discriminate between civilians and combatants and between military and civilian targets. Under these circumstances, Adalah contended that it is imperative that the competent authorities order an independent investigation. Internal investigations are insufficient and constitute a conflict of interest, as the participants involved in the events themselves conduct them. The military’s investigations of itself are not suitable to clarify the liability of those committing possible war crimes and bringing them to justice.

For more information, see:

Al Mezan Center for Human Rights (Gaza):

Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (Gaza):


OCHA-OPT Situation Report on Gaza: