Israel rejects 'unbalanced' Amnesty report on Gaza war
Israel rejected an Amnesty International report that accused it of committing war crimes in the Gaza Strip, and said the human rights group was manipulated by Hamas, AFP reported.
"The slant of their report indicates that the organisation succumbed to the manipulations of the Hamas terror organisation," the Israeli military said in a statement.
London-based Amnesty accused Israeli forces of war crimes, saying they used civilians, including children as human shields and conducted wanton attacks on civilians during the December-January Gaza offensive.
Israel called the report "unbalanced" and said it presented "a distorted view of the laws of war that does not comply with the rules implemented by democratic states battling terror."
"It ignores the efforts of the IDF (Israeli Defence Forces) to minimise as much as possible harming uninvolved non-combatant civilians," it said.
It insisted Israeli forces used "various fighting methods and advanced technology to minimise harm to the civilian population while engaging terrorists who were operating from densely populated areas and using the local population as 'human shields'."
Amnesty said it found no evidence the Hamas rulers of Gaza had used civilians as human shields, but claimed Israeli forces forced Palestinian families to remain in one room of their home while using the rest of the house as a base and sniper position.
Israel accused the rights group of ignoring "the blatant violations of international law perpetrated by Hamas."
Thirteen pages of the 117-page report are devoted to the conduct of Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups and points out the rocket attacks they carried out against Israel "constitute war crimes."
More than 1,400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis died during the massive offensive launched by Israel in response to rocket fire from Palestinian militants.