A leading human rights group has accused Israel and the Palestinian
militant group Hamas of war crimes during Israel's Gaza offensive
several months ago.
Amnesty International said in a report
Thursday that Israeli troops targeted civilians in attacks. It said
troops used civilians as human shields by forcing them to stay in
houses employed as military positions.
Amnesty also said rocket
attacks by Hamas on Israel constituted war crimes, but dismissed
Israeli claims the militant group Hamas had used civilians as human
Israel blames Hamas for the heavy casualties in the
fighting, accusing militants of using schools, mosques and residential
areas for cover.
Israel says it launched the late December Gaza
offensive to stop cross-border rocket attacks by Palestinian
militants. Three weeks of fighting killed at least 1,300 Palestinians
and 13 Israelis. Amnesty says 300 Palestinian children were among the
On Wednesday, rock-throwing Palestinians clashed with Israeli soldiers in the West Bank.
officials say soldiers shot at the legs of four Palestinians who were
throwing rocks at Israeli vehicles not far from the city of Nablus.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.