B’Tselem accuses Israel of committing war crimes in its military response to Hamas

The human rights group B’Tselem accuses Israel of committing war crimes in its military response to Hamas’s brutal attack on Israel in which it massacred hundreds of civilians.

“A criminal policy of revenge is underway,” says the organization, noting that Israel has dropped “hundreds of tons” of bombs on Gaza in its air campaign against the Hamas terror group.

“Among the people killed, some of them still trapped under debris, are entire families wiped out in a single bombardment – including at least 140 minors and 105 women,” B’Tselem says.

The organization says this, along with Israel’s decision to shut down goods crossings into Gaza, disconnect Gaza from the power grid and reduce the supply of water to the territory, “constitute war crimes openly ordered” by senior Israeli officials.

“Even in the face of horror and terror, intentionally harming civilians, their property and civilian infrastructure is always prohibited,” B’Tselem adds.

Smoke rises from an explosion caused by Israeli airstrikes on the border between Egypt and Rafah, Gaza Strip, October 10, 2023. (Hatem Ali/AP)

On Monday, B’Tselem accused Hamas of committing “a shocking crime” and of having “opened fire indiscriminately, killing hundreds of civilians and injuring thousands,” and noted it had also taken civilians captive, which is itself a war crime.

A spokesman for the group says that B’Tselem defines Hamas’s actions as war crimes.

“Intentional attacks on civilians are prohibited and unacceptable. There is no justification for such crimes, whether they are committed as part of a struggle for freedom from oppression or cited as part of a war against terror,” the group said in a Monday statement.

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