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Israeli use of heavy bombs raise ‘serious concerns’: UN

AFP – Israel’s repeated use of heavy bombs in the densely-populated Gaza Strip indicates repeated violations of the laws of war, the United Nations (UN) said Wednesday, highlighting six attacks that killed at least 218 people.

In a fresh report, the UN rights office provided details on the six attacks, which it said were emblematic of a concerning pattern, involving the suspected use of up to 2,000-pound bombs on residential buildings, a school, refugee camps and a market.

The rights office said it had verified 218 deaths in those attacks, which were carried out in the early months of the war that erupted in Gaza on October 7, but said it had information indicating the number of fatalities “could be much higher”.

“The requirement to select means and methods of warfare that avoid or at the very least minimise to every extent civilian harm appears to have been consistently violated in Israel’s bombing campaign,” UN rights chief Volker Turk said in a statement.

The report concludes that the series of Israeli strikes, exemplified by the six attacks carried out between October 9 and December 2, suggested that  Israel’s military had “repeatedly violated fundamental principles of the laws of war”, the statement said. Among the attacks listed were the strikes on Ash Shujaiyeh neighbourhood, in Gaza City on December 2 last year.

Palestinians displaced by the Israeli air and ground offensive on the Gaza Strip walk through a makeshift tent camp in Khan Younis, Gaza. PHOTO: AP