Testimonies about Israeli crimes against civilians in Gaza
“Civilian homes are not legitimate targets unless they are being used for, or contribute to, military purposes at the time in question. In case of doubt, civilian homes are presumed not to be legitimate targets. Even where a home is identified as being used for military purposes, any attack must be proportionate, offer a definite military advantage in the prevailing circumstances at the time, and precautions must be taken. I unequivocally reiterate to all actors in this conflict that civilians must not be targeted. It is imperative that Israel, Hamas and all Palestinian armed groups strictly abide by applicable norms of international humanitarian law and international human rights law. This entails applying the principles of distinction between civilians and combatants and between civilian objects and military objectives; proportionality; and precautions in attack. Respect for the right to life of civilians, including children, should be a foremost consideration. Not abiding by these principles may amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity.”
Excerpt of the Statement by Navi Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, 23 July 2014
As soon as the temporary ceasefires were declared, DWRC team in Gaza started collecting testimonies from parents and other family members about the circumstances of the death of their loved ones. These testimonies demonstrate without doubt that Palestinian civilians have been targeted by the Israeli armed forces, in their homes, in their shelters, in the streets, while fleeing the shelling and bombing. They further show that “principles of distinction between civilians and combatants and between civilian objects and military objectives; proportionality; and precautions in attack” have not been respected.