Amnesty: Israeli Troops Used Children as Human Shields in Gaza

Report Details War Crimes During 22-Day Gaza Offensive

Amnesty International issued a 105-page report today detailing war crimes committed by the Israeli military during its 22-day military offensive against the Gaza Strip. The attack killed over 1,400 Palestinians and wounded 5,000 others. It also destroyed over 3,000 homes.

The report found that “much of the destruction was wanton and resulted from direct attacks on civilian objects as well as indiscriminate attacks that failed to distinguish between legitimate military targets and civilian objects.”

Amnesty’s investigation also managed to produce no evidence to support repeated claims from the Israeli military that the Hamas government was using civilians as human shields during the war. On the other hand they did cite an instance in which Israeli troops forced multiple families of civilians, including children, to remain in a house they turned into a sniper nest, “effectively using the families, both adults and children, as human shields and putting them at risk.”

Using civilians to shield a military target from attack is internationally recognized as a war crime, and is just one of many claims of war crimes committed by the invading forces, as detailed in this report and past ones. Yesterday Human Rights Watch also issued a report accusing Israel of war crimes over its use of drones to indiscriminately target civilians. The Israeli military publicly condemned the Human Rights Watch report, but has yet to comment on the much longer, more detailed Amnesty report.

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.