Growing Calls for Israel to Face War Crimes Investigation

Indiscriminate Shelling of Residential Areas Unsettling for Top Rights Officials

With still no end in sight to the Israeli war on the Gaza Strip, growing international concerns about the soaring civilian toll are putting an uncomfortable spotlight on the military’s behavior in a densely populated region. But while their own legal experts insist that the number of civilians killed by the Israeli military and the devastation of an entire enclave are totally irrelevant to the question of the proportionality of the attacks, human rights groups and high ranking UN officials see things a different way.

Earlier today, the United Nations Human Rights Council voted 33-1 to condemn Israel for gravely violating the human rights of Palestinians and called for an independent fact-finding mission to investigate potential violations of international human rights law, particularly in Israeli attacks on UN facilities. Only Canada voted against the the resolution.

Rights group have also accused Israel of targeting civilians, using banned weapons, holding Palestinian families in homes for use as human shields, and attacking medical facilities. Amnesty International said the shelling of residential streets alone was “prima facie evidence of war crimes,” with investigator Donatella Rovera condemning the indiscriminate use of force by the Israeli military.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.