Israeli forces engaged in punitive destruction of homes in the Gaza Strip

Aletho News

Palestinian Center for Human Rights | July 10, 2014

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) is strongly concerned by Israel’s conduct of its offensive on the Gaza Strip, and in particular by the widespread punitive targeting of homes belonging to members of Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

In recent days, the Israeli air force has conducted two phase targeting of fighters’ homes whereby a ‘warning’ is issued to the house in question so that it may be evacuated. This warning takes the form of either a dud missile (termed ‘roof knocking’) or a phone call. The house is then subsequently targeted and destroyed, typically 15 minutes later.

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Photo by Palestinian Center for Human Rights

PCHR highlights that during active hostilities, only fighters and military objectives may be targeted. Civilians and civilian objects are protected from direct attack.

Article 52(2) of Additional Protocol II to the Geneva Conventions defines a military objective as:…

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