AI: International Criminal Court should investigate Israeli attacks as war crimes

Israeli air strikes that killed 44 civilians further evidence of war crimes, said Amnesty International, calling for a new investigation.

The International Criminal Court should investigate as war crimes three Israeli air strikes that killed 44 Palestinian civilians, including 32 children, in the occupied Gaza Strip last month, Amnesty International said today.

The strikes – one on al-Maghazi on 16 April, and two on Rafah on 19 and 20 April 2024 – also injured at least 20 civilians, and are further evidence of a broader pattern of war crimes committed by the Israeli military in the occupied Gaza Strip in the last seven months.

“These devastating strikes have decimated families and cruelly cut short the lives of 32 children,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Amnesty International’s Senior Director for Research, Advocacy, Policy and Campaigns.

“Our findings offer crucial evidence of unlawful attacks by the Israeli military as the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court applies for arrest warrants for senior Israeli and Hamas officials, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. As the Israeli military continues to escalate its ground incursion in Rafah, these cases also illustrate the urgent need for an immediate ceasefire.

“Despite growing calls to end arms transfers to Israel, a UN Security Council resolution ordering a ceasefire, and world leaders warning against the Israeli ground incursion into Rafah, the Israeli military has continued to escalate its operations, including these unrelenting attacks on civilians.

“The cases documented illustrate a clear pattern of attacks over the past seven months in which the Israeli military has flouted international law, killing Palestinian civilians with total impunity and displaying a callous disregard for human lives.”

Since October 2023, Amnesty International has conducted in-depth investigations into 16 Israeli air strikes that killed a total of 370 civilians, including 159 children, and left hundreds more wounded. Amnesty International has found evidence of war crimes by Israeli forces, including direct attacks on civilians or indiscriminate attacks, as well as other unlawful attacks and collective punishment of the civilian population.