War Crimes in Gaza?

Friday, November 24, 2006
BBC NEWS | Middle East | Gaza shields an 'illegal tactic': "Palestinian armed groups in Gaza have been criticised for risking civilians by asking them to gather at suspected militants homes targeted by Israel.

Human Rights Watch said that using civilians as human shields or knowingly putting them in danger, were breaches of international humanitarian law.

The Israeli army often orders people out of homes ahead of attacks, saying it aims to avoid civilian casualties.

Israeli forces have reportedly destroyed 251 homes in Gaza since July.

'There is no excuse for calling civilians to the scene of a planned attack,' said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch.

'Whether or not the home is a legitimate military target, knowingly asking civilians to stand in harm's way is unlawful,' she said."