“There is no way that firing a missile at a civilian home can constitute an effective ‘warning’. Amnesty International has documented cases of civilians killed or injured by such missiles in previous Israeli military operations on the Gaza Strip,”
Amnesty International (Philip Luther)
The death toll from the Israeli military’s operation “Protective Edge” has now surely surpassed the 100 Palestinians reported worldwide in the previous days. Many of which have been children, women and needless to say innocent civilians not involved in formal warfare.
The above film released by Watania news agency in Gaza shows an Israeli air strike on a suspected family home of “Hamas operatives” (as referred to by the Israeli military). The purpose of the double strike is an apparently non-fatal and unarmed warning shot designed to alert the inhabitence of an imminent and destructive missile strike to the building. The video gives the impression that the catastrophic missile strike is slightly over a minute after the less destructive first strike however close inspection will expose a 15 minute time redaction in the video at 01:16.
Nevertheless these “knock on the door” warning strikes have in practice not prevented the needless loss of innocent life with eight members of the same family (six children) killed in a strike last week when they decided to return to the home unaware a second strike was imminent.
Amnesty International has called “for a UN-mandated international investigation into violations committed on all sides amidst ongoing Israeli air strikes across the Gaza Strip”. They have also stated that several cases in which family homes have been destroyed based on the justification that “Hamas operatives” were using the location for storing “munitions, or otherwise were being used for military purposes” have shown to be lacking in evidence.
Philip Luther, director of the Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Programme said on friday, “Unless the Israeli authorities can provide specific information to show how a home is being used to make an effective contribution to military actions, deliberately attacking civilian homes constitutes a war crime and also amounts to collective punishment against the families,”