ACRI condemns airstrikes on civilian structures

The Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) denounces the Israeli airstrikes in the Gaza Strip that target residential buildings.

“According to the laws of war, armed forces are required to adopt measures to avoid civilian casualties even when attacking legitimate military targets, and certainly when the legitimacy of the target is questionable. Generally, residential buildings, both in the Gaza Strip and in Israel, are considered civilian sites and do not constitute a legitimate military objective. When there is concern about the possibility of civilian casualties, or when there are clear indications that civilian casualties will eventuate, a military attack must be avoided,” it writes in a statement.

Meanwhile, the IDF maintains in a statement that ir “struck a number of houses throughout Gaza that were being used for military purposes.”

“Hamas conducts its military activities from deep within residential areas in Gaza. By doing so, it exploits the IDF’s desire and efforts to avoid harm to Palestinian civilians. In many cases, Hamas uses its senior operatives’ own homes, where their families and other civilians may be residing, for military purposes. These houses may be used for weapons storage, command and control centers, or communications,” it says in a statement.

“When houses are used for military purposes, they may become legitimate military targets under international law. The IDF only aims its attacks against legitimate military targets as defined under the relevant rules of international law,” it adds.

“When terrorist organizations such as Hamas deliberately use civilian homes for terrorist purposes, it is unavoidable that some civilians will be harmed when the IDF acts against these targets. Hamas exploits such instances to claim that the IDF deliberately seeks to harm the civilian population in the Gaza, but fails to acknowledge that it has intentionally put these Palestinian civilians in grave danger by masking its terrorist activities behind a civilian facade.”

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