London, Mar. 24 (ANI): During its 23-day offensive in the Gaza Strip, Israel had committed numerous war crimes by using Palestinian children as human shields and targeting medics and hospitals, The Guardian has claimed.
A month-long investigation obtained detailed evidence of civilians being hit by fire from unmanned drone aircraft under Operation Cast Lead.
The films recorded by The Guardian reveal that the Israel operation was aimed at Hamas, but left about 1,400 Palestinians dead, including more than 300 children.
However, the Israeli Defence Forces insisted that international law had been observed.
Meanwhile, an IDF squad leader was quoted in the daily newspaper Ha'aretz as saying his soldiers interpreted the rules to mean "we should kill everyone there [in the centre of Gaza]. Everyone there is a terrorist."
Amnesty International has said Hamas should be investigated for executing at least two dozen Palestinian men in an apparent bout of score settling with rivals.
"Only an investigation mandated by the UN security council can ensure Israel's co-operation, and it's the only body that can secure some kind of prosecution. Without a proper investigation there is no deterrent," said Amnesty's Donatella Rovera, who spent two weeks in Gaza investigating war crime allegations.
Some of the most dramatic testimony gathered by the Guardian came from three teenage brothers in the al-Attar family. They describe how they were taken from home at gunpoint, made to kneel in front of Israeli tanks to deter Hamas fighters from firing.
"They would make us go first so if any fighters shot at them the bullets would hit us, not them," 14-year-old Al'a al-Attar said.
Medics and ambulance drivers said they were targeted when they tried to tend to the wounded; sixteen were killed.
According to the World Health Organisation, more than half of Gaza's 27 hospitals and 44 clinics were damaged by Israeli bombs. (ANI)