Amnesty says whole Gaza families killed by Israeli air strikes without warning

Amnesty says whole Gaza families killed by Israeli air strikes without warning
Amnesty International's report describes how Israel's bombardment of the Gaza Strip struck civilian targets, sometimes without prior notice, leading to the killing of whole families.
2 min read
21 October, 2023
Israel has been indiscriminately bombing the Gaza Strip since 7 October when Hamas launched a surprise assault on southern Israel [Getty]

Whole families in Gaza have been killed in Israeli airstrikes without prior warning according to an Amnesty International investigation released Friday.

The investigation looked into five attacks over the period of 7 to 12 October, where Israel bombed civilian locations rather than military targets in what Amnesty International's Secretary General, Agnes Callamard, described as a "shocking disregard for civilian lives" on the part of the Israeli military.

The report describes how previous Israeli modes of conduct, like warning civilians prior to strikes, either never occurred, or were inadequately conducted meaning civilians were still put in harm's way. 

One such attack that was documented was on the 7 October when an Israeli airstrike struck a residential building in al-Zeitoun in Gaza City. The strike, which was launched without warning, killed fifteen members of the al-Dos family.

Another airstrike, launched on 8 October, killed four and the injured 22 civilians who had initially evacuated their building in the Nuseirat refugee camp.

They had initially left their building following a warning from the Israeli military, but after five hours without an attack went back to collect their necessities, after which the strike occurred.

The evidence collected by Amnesty, through testimony of victims and eyewitnesses as well as satellite imagery, corroborates claims from Gaza's health ministry which has said that whole families have been killed in Israeli airstrikes.

As of 15 October, 47 families have been taken off the Gaza civil registry meaning that there are no surviving members. According to Gaza's health ministry, 521 families have had at least two members killed as a result of Israel's bombardment. 

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Callamard, stated that Amnesty was "calling on Israeli forces to immediately end unlawful attacks in Gaza," and also called for the imposition of "a comprehensive arms embargo [on Israel] given that serious violations under international law are being committed."

The UN's special rapporteur for the occupied Palestinian territories, Francesca Albanese, told Anadolu Agency that Israel's bombardment of the Gaza Strip cannot "be called legitimate self-defence," adding that the situation in Gaza was an "epic failure" on the part of the UN which did not have a strategy for the situation.

Israel’s bombardment of the Gaza strip has so far killed 4,385 Palestinians, including 1,756 children. 13,162 people have been injured. A further 81 Palestinians have been killed in the occupied West Bank, with over 1,400 Israelis also being killed in the war.