Amnesty International on Thursday accused Israeli forces of war crimes, saying they used children as human shields and conducted wanton attacks on civilians during their offensive in the Gaza Strip.
The London-based human rights group also accused Hamas of war crimes, but said it found no evidence that the Islamist rulers of Gaza used civilians as human shields during the 22-day offensive Israel launched on December 28.
It also reiterated its call for an international arms embargo against Israel.
“Much of the destruction was wanton and resulted from direct attacks on civilian objects,” Amnesty said in a study.
Israeli troops forced Palestinians to stay in one room of their home while turning the rest of the house into a base and sniper position, “effectively using the families, both adults and children, as human shields and putting them at risk,” the group said.
“Intentionally using civilians to shield a military objective, often referred to as using ‘human shields’ is a war crime,” Amnesty said.