Israeli army's order for residents of northern Gaza to evacuate may amount to war crime: Amnesty
Move provides further evidence that Israel aims to forcibly displace civilians in area, says rights group.
A recent move by the Israeli military ordering residents of northern Gaza to immediately evacuate may amount to a war crime, Amnesty International said Wednesday
“Declaring a whole city or region a military target flies in the face of international humanitarian law, which stipulates that those carrying out attacks must distinguish at all times between civilians or civilian objects and military objectives and that they must take all possible measures to spare civilians and civilian objects. Violating the principle of distinction by targeting civilians or civilian objects or by carrying out indiscriminate attacks that kill or injure civilians is a war crime,” said the rights group’s Senior Crisis Response Adviser Donatella Rovera in a statement.
“The messages in these leaflets cannot be considered an effective warning to civilians and instead provide further evidence that Israel aims to forcibly displace civilians in northern Gaza,” she added.
The conflict in Gaza began when the Palestinian group Hamas initiated Operation Al-Aqsa Flood -- a multi-pronged surprise attack on Oct. 7 that included a barrage of rocket launches and infiltrations into Israel by land, sea and air.
Hamas said the incursion was in retaliation for the storming of Al-Aqsa Mosque and growing violence by Israeli settlers against Palestinians.
The Israeli military then launched a relentless bombardment of Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip.
More than 7,900 people have been killed in the conflict, including at least 6,546 Palestinians and 1,400 Israelis.
Gaza’s 2.3 million residents have been running out of food, water, medicine and fuel, and aid convoys allowed into Gaza have carried only a fraction of what is needed.