'Israel, Palestine should address war crimes'

In a 67-page report, entitled “Turning a Blind Eye: Impunity for Laws-of-War Violations during the Gaza War”, HRW said “neither side has taken adequate measures to investigate serious violations or to punish the perpetrators of war crimes, leaving civilian victims without redress.”HRW said Israel’s efforts “have fallen far short of international standards” while Hamas “has conducted no credible investigations at all.”

Israel’s army command has said it had investigated 150 incidents but 120 were “limited to operational debriefings” involving testimony from soldiers but not from witnesses or victims. 36 incidents had been subjects of criminal investigations, of which seven have been closed, but these do not include many incidents “deserving investigation.”

Among these are targeting of political institutions and Gaza’s civilian police, the use of heavy artillery and white phosphorus shells in populated areas, and lax “rules of engagement for aerial drone operators and ground forces.”

So far, only one Israeli has been found guilty of a crime — a soldier who stole and used a Palestinian’s credit card.

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