Amnesty International UK
Responding to an escalation of hostilities between Israel and Palestinian armed groups in Gaza overnight – with two Palestinian civilians killed and 20 wounded in Israeli airstrikes, and one Palestinian civilian from the West Bank killed in Israel and 70 others wounded by rocket fire from Palestinian armed groups – Saleh Hegazi, Amnesty International’s Middle East Deputy Director, said:
“If the situation escalates into a fully-fledged armed conflict it would have a disastrous impact on the almost two million residents of Gaza who are already living in dire conditions of poverty and deprivation of rights.
“Gaza is already on the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe, caused by the 11-year brutal and unlawful blockade, and the devastation caused wantonly by three previous armed conflicts.
“Another armed conflict risks accelerating the full collapse of Gaza.
“Israeli forces must refrain from carrying out indiscriminate attacks and do everything in their power to ensure civilian lives are spared and damage to civilian homes, facilities and infrastructure is prevented.
“Israel has a history of carrying out serious violations of international humanitarian law in Gaza – including war crimes – with impunity and displaying a shocking disregard for Palestinian lives.
“Palestinian armed groups, including Hamas, must also stop indiscriminate rocket fire, and direct attacks on civilians and civilian objects. These are serious violations of international humanitarian law and constitute war crimes.”