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  • Israel/Gaza conflict: Questions and Answer | Amnesty International Canada
    direct attacks only at the former Deliberate attacks on civilians or civilian objects such as homes medical facilities schools governmental buildings that are not being used for military purposes are prohibited and are war crimes Indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks where the likely number of civilian casualties or damage to civilian property outweighs the anticipated military advantage to be gained are also prohibited All sides must take necessary precautions in attack to minimize harm to civilians and civilian objects This includes giving civilians effective warnings ahead of attacks and cancelling or suspending an attack if it becomes apparent that the target is civilian or that the attack would be disproportionate They also must take all feasible precautions to protect civilians under their control from the effects of attacks For example warring parties should avoid endangering civilians by storing ammunition in and launching attacks from populated civilian areas What are the different patterns of violations by Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip that Amnesty International has identified since Israel launched Operation Protective Edge on 8 June 2014 Israeli forces have carried out attacks that have killed hundreds of civilians using precision weaponry such as drone fired missiles as well as munitions such as artillery which cannot be precisely targeted on very densely populated residential areas such as Shuja iyyeh They have also directly attacked thousands of homes Israel appears to consider the homes of people associated with Hamas to be legitimate military targets a stance that does not conform to international humanitarian law Several medical facilities and non military governmental buildings across the Gaza Strip have also been destroyed or damaged The UN has reported that one of its schools sheltering displaced people in the al Maghazi refugee camp in central Gaza was shelled by Israeli forces on at least two occasions Another such school sheltering displaced families in Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza was struck on 24 July killing at least 15 civilians and injuring many others and the UN has called for an immediate investigation Although the Israeli authorities claim to be warning civilians in Gaza a consistent pattern has emerged that their actions do not constitute an effective warning under international humanitarian law Israeli attacks have also caused mass displacement of Palestinian civilians within the Gaza Strip What is Amnesty International s position on the firing of indiscriminate rockets and mortars from the Gaza Strip by Palestinian armed groups Do other actions of Palestinian armed groups in Gaza since 8 July 2014 violate international humanitarian law According to the Israeli army Hamas military wing and other Palestinian armed groups fired over 1 700 rockets into Israel from 8 to 18 July and scores of rockets continue to be fired every day Three civilians in Israel have been killed Homes and other civilian properties in Israel have been damaged International humanitarian law prohibits the use of weapons that are by nature indiscriminate The rockets fired from Gaza into Israel cannot be aimed exactly at their objective and their use violates

    Original URL path: http://www.amnesty.ca/news/q-a/israelgaza-conflict-questions-and-answer (2016-02-13)
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  • Gaza and Israel Crisis : Open letter to Foreign Minister John Baird on international humanitarian law violations | Amnesty International Canada
    rights standards since the most recent crisis in Gaza and Israel erupted on 8 July We are writing this Open Letter to you on behalf of more than 80 000 Amnesty International members across Canada with an urgent request that the Canadian government similarly speak out and insist that these rapidly mounting violations by both sides of this conflict must end immediately We have of course noted the frequent comments made by the Prime Minister you personally and other members of the government criticizing Hamas for the indiscriminate firing of rockets into Israel Amnesty International has similarly consistently condemned those actions underscoring that such actions constitute violations of international humanitarian law We are deeply concerned however that the Canadian government has not yet forcefully condemned the nature of the military offensive launched by the Israeli government The government has repeatedly stressed that the Israeli government is entitled to take action in self defence That is not contested Any such action in self defence however must be in full compliance with international humanitarian law and international human rights norms which among other crucial matters provide for the protection of civilians It has become tragically and abundantly clear that many aspects of the Israeli aerial campaign and ground offensive violate fundamental international legal standards and that it is overwhelmingly Palestinian civilians in Gaza who are suffering the consequences The Canadian government s most recent press release dealing with the crisis released on 20 July takes note of Palestinian civilian casualties but lays the blame for the casualties entirely with Hamas Hamas s continued aggression combined with cowardly tactics that endanger civilians has resulted in the tragic deaths of approximately another 87 Palestinians Innocent civilians living in Gaza deserve far better than the reckless actions of this terrorist organization The statement fails in any way to acknowledge that it was military action taken by Israeli forces that directly caused the casualties It is vital that Canada recognize that the actions of Israeli military forces are causing civilian casualties and that violations of international law by Israeli forces must be the subject of an international investigation Canada carries very substantial influence with the Israeli government Canadian statements of concern about and pressure to end violations of international law by Israeli forces are therefore of vital importance Throughout this crisis Amnesty International has called on both the Israeli and Hamas governments to end the violations We have pressed the international community to impose an arms embargo on all sides to the conflict and for all states individually immediately to suspend transfers of military equipment to Israel Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups in the Gaza Strip We have also called for a UN mandated international investigation into violations of international humanitarian and human rights law by all parties Yet the crisis only deepens and civilian casualties grow at an alarming rate Most recently Israeli attacks against health care facilities are a very worrying addition to the list of possible war crimes The third floor of

    Original URL path: http://www.amnesty.ca/news/open-letters/gaza-and-israel-crisis-open-letter-to-foreign-minister-john-baird-on-international (2016-02-13)
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  • Israel/Gaza: Attacks on medical facilities and civilians add to war crime allegations | Amnesty International Canada
    Pacific Human Rights Defenders in the Americas North Korea Prison Camps Pakistan Attacks on Journalists Use of Blasphemy Laws Training and Capacity Building Get Involved Take Action Now Online Actions Petition Library Urgent Action Network Latest Urgent Actions Donate Come and join us Sign Up Be a Youth Activist 2015 Human Rights College for Youth Dance for Rights Human Rights College 2015 Planning Committee Member Application Lifesaver Actions for Young Activists Student Group Registration Form Youth Leadership Oppotunitities Join a group Community Activism Volunteer Leadership Fieldworkers Join our Membership Consultation Committee MCC Volunteers Wanted Nova Scotia University Orientation Week Country and Theme Coordinators in Canada The Board of Directors Resources for Activists Activism Fund Have your say Seasonal Activism Guide Meet our Team Work Volunteer Opportunities Donate Become a Monthly Donor Sign Up Online Your Donations at Work Amnesty Canvassers Telephone Canvassing Make a One time Donation Donate Online Leave a gift in your will Why we are remembering Amnesty in our wills Bequests RRIFs and RRSPs Life Insurance Contact our Planned Giving Associate Disclaimer Gifts of Stocks and Securities Give a Gift in Memoriam Send a Special Occasion Gift Raise Money for Human Rights Tips for Raising Money Fundraising Q As Donate a car Update your monthly donor information Join Us About Us What we do Key Facts about Amnesty International How We Make A Difference Our Leaders Our Impact Governance Financial Information Work With Us FAQ Members Thank You Contact Us Home Media Awards Multimedia Israel Gaza Attacks on medical facilities and civilians add to war crime allegations News releases July 21 2014 The continuing bombardment of civilian homes in several areas of the Gaza Strip as well as the Israeli shelling of a hospital add to the list of possible war crimes that demand an urgent independent international investigation said Amnesty International The third floor of the Al Aqsa hospital in Deir al Balah was struck by Israeli shelling killing four people and wounding dozens according to the Gaza Ministry of Health spokesperson Today s attack on the Al Aqsa hospital is the latest in a series of attacks on and near medical facilities in Gaza which have been struggling to cope with thousands of injured people since the Israeli offensive began on 8 July said Philip Luther Director of the Middle East and North Africa Program at Amnesty International There can be no justification for targeting medical facilities at any time Attacks on medical facilities underline the need for a prompt impartial international investigation mandated by the UN Last week the al Wafa rehabilitative hospital in Shuja iyyeh was severely damaged after being attacked twice by Israeli forces With the Israeli ground invasion in its fourth day and the death toll in Gaza exceeding 550 people the majority of them civilians there is an urgent need for the parties to agree to periodic pauses in the fighting to facilitate the evacuation of the dead and wounded Additionally with as many as 1 2 million people without

    Original URL path: http://www.amnesty.ca/news/news-releases/israelgaza-attacks-on-medical-facilities-and-civilians-add-to-war-crime (2016-02-13)
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  • Israel/Gaza: Prevent further war crimes after Israeli ground assault | Amnesty International Canada
    we do Key Facts about Amnesty International How We Make A Difference Our Leaders Our Impact Governance Financial Information Work With Us FAQ Members Thank You Contact Us Home Media Awards Multimedia Israel Gaza Prevent further war crimes after Israeli ground assault News releases July 18 2014 Israel s ground assault on the Gaza Strip which began last night after 10 days of attacks by Israeli forces and Palestinian armed groups accentuates the need for urgent international action to protect civilians in Gaza and Israel from further war crimes by both sides Amnesty International said today Israel s relentless air assault on Gaza has seen its forces flagrantly disregard civilian life and property which must be protected under international humanitarian law said Philip Luther Middle East and North Africa Programme Director at Amnesty International Some 240 Palestinians had already been killed before the ground operation began at least 171 of them civilians including 48 children and 31 women up to 3pm on 17 July according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs One Israeli civilian was killed by mortar fire from Gaza on 15 July At least 30 more Palestinians have reportedly been killed in the Gaza Strip since the ground assault was launched Targeting civilians and direct attacks on civilian property cannot be justified Both sides which have repeatedly violated international law with impunity must be held accountable and the first step towards that is a UN mandated international investigation said Philip Luther More than 1 780 homes have also been completely destroyed or rendered uninhabitable by Israeli attacks leaving at least 10 600 Gazan residents homeless Israeli civilian property has also been damaged by indiscriminate rockets fired from Gaza Eight members of one family were killed in an air strike in the early hours of 10 July on the home of Mahmoud Lutfi al Hajj in the Gaza Strip s Khan Younis refugee camp More than 20 neighbours were also injured in the attack which was not preceded by a specific warning Yasser Mahmoud Lutfi al Hajj one of two surviving members of the family told Amnesty International I saw my uncle coming out of the house with my mother s body in his arms He was running I was yelling that I wanted to see my mother then I then went to the hospital to see if anyone survived I found out that Tareq my brother was still alive but he later died I broke down in panic and they gave me injections to calm me down This is an extremely crowded area the strike was not on one house but the entire community and it was total destruction Mahmoud Atamneh a neighbour told Amnesty International Deliberately attacking a civilian home is a war crime and the overwhelming scale of destruction of civilian homes in some cases with entire families inside them points to a distressing pattern of repeated violations of the laws of war said Philip Luther The Israeli authorities have not provided

    Original URL path: http://www.amnesty.ca/news/news-releases/israelgaza-prevent-further-war-crimes-after-israeli-ground-assault (2016-02-13)
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  • Israel/Gaza: UN must impose arms embargo and mandate an international investigation as civilian death toll rises | Amnesty International Canada
    About Us What we do Key Facts about Amnesty International How We Make A Difference Our Leaders Our Impact Governance Financial Information Work With Us FAQ Members Thank You Contact Us Home Media Awards Multimedia Israel Gaza UN must impose arms embargo and mandate an international investigation as civilian death toll rises News releases July 11 2014 A member of the Palestinian Abu Lealla family examines the damage to his destroyed house following an Israeli airstrike north of Gaza City on 11 July 2014 EPA MOHAMMED SABER Amnesty International is calling for a UN mandated international investigation into violations committed on all sides amidst ongoing Israeli air strikes across the Gaza Strip and continuing volleys of indiscriminate rocket fire from Palestinian armed groups into Israel Since Israel launched Operation Protective Edge in the early morning of 8 July more than 100 Palestinians have been killed in the Gaza Strip most of them civilians who were not directly participating in hostilities This includes at least 24 children and 16 women as of Friday morning More than 600 people have been wounded many of them seriously More than 340 homes in Gaza have been completely destroyed or left uninhabitable and at least five health facilities and three ambulances have been damaged In Israel at least 20 people have been wounded by rocket attacks and property has been damaged As the violence intensifies there is an urgent need for the UN to mandate an international independent fact finding mission to Gaza and Israel to investigate violations of international humanitarian law by all parties to the conflict This is the first crucial step towards ensuring that those who have committed war crimes or other serious violations can be held accountable said Philip Luther Director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Amnesty International The international community must not repeat previous mistakes standing by and watching the devastating consequences for civilians of both sides failing to abide by and enforce the laws of war Swift UN action is needed as lives hang in the balance Amnesty International is also calling on the UN to immediately impose a comprehensive arms embargo on Israel Hamas and Palestinian armed groups with the aim of preventing further serious violations of international humanitarian law and human rights by the parties to the conflict Pending such an embargo all states must immediately suspend all transfers of military equipment assistance and munitions to the parties which have failed to properly investigate violations committed in previous conflicts or bring those responsible to justice Israeli air strikes have targeted civilian homes in Gaza on the basis that they are the family homes of Hamas operatives according to statements by the Israeli military destroying the homes after warning the families to leave However in several such cases no evidence has emerged to indicate that the alleged Hamas operatives were inside the homes at the time of the attack that the homes were being used to store munitions or otherwise were being used for

    Original URL path: http://www.amnesty.ca/news/news-releases/israelgaza-un-must-impose-arms-embargo-and-mandate-an-international-investigation (2016-02-13)
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  • Israel/Gaza: All sides must protect civilians as conflict escalates | Amnesty International Canada
    Canada The Board of Directors Resources for Activists Activism Fund Have your say Seasonal Activism Guide Meet our Team Work Volunteer Opportunities Donate Become a Monthly Donor Sign Up Online Your Donations at Work Amnesty Canvassers Telephone Canvassing Make a One time Donation Donate Online Leave a gift in your will Why we are remembering Amnesty in our wills Bequests RRIFs and RRSPs Life Insurance Contact our Planned Giving Associate Disclaimer Gifts of Stocks and Securities Give a Gift in Memoriam Send a Special Occasion Gift Raise Money for Human Rights Tips for Raising Money Fundraising Q As Donate a car Update your monthly donor information Join Us About Us What we do Key Facts about Amnesty International How We Make A Difference Our Leaders Our Impact Governance Financial Information Work With Us FAQ Members Thank You Contact Us Home Media Awards Multimedia Israel Gaza All sides must protect civilians as conflict escalates Fire fighters extinguish a vehicle targeted in an Israeli airstrike on Gaza City on 8 July 2014 MOHAMMED ABED AFP Getty Image News releases July 08 2014 Amnesty International is calling on the Israeli authorities and Palestinian armed groups in Gaza including the military wing of Hamas to ensure that civilian lives are protected as the conflict between the two sides escalates All sides to the conflict have an absolute obligation under international humanitarian law to protect the lives of civilians caught up in the intensifying hostilities said Philip Luther Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International Amnesty International urges the Israeli military and Palestinian armed groups including Hamas military wing and those overseeing it to fully respect the laws of war Israel must only carry out strikes on legitimate military targets and exercise the utmost caution in the means and methods of attack to minimize the risk to civilians and damage to civilian homes and infrastructure Carrying out indiscriminate air strikes in densely populated areas or direct attacks on civilian homes will inevitably lead to the loss of civilian lives in violation of international humanitarian law Israel launched a military offensive Operation Protective Edge overnight striking at least 50 sites in the Gaza Strip and carrying out dozens more air strikes since the morning At least 50 people including children have reportedly been wounded in Gaza as a result of Israeli military operations today according to medics Palestinian armed groups in Gaza have fired scores of indiscriminate rockets into southern Israel in recent days and continued to do so on Tuesday As of the morning of Tuesday 8 July more than 240 indiscriminate rockets had been fired from Gaza into southern Israel since 12 June according to the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs Amnesty International has repeatedly condemned the firing of indiscriminate rockets which cannot be aimed accurately at military targets Hamas military wing claimed responsibility for firing dozens of indiscriminate rockets on Tuesday The firing of indiscriminate rockets by Palestinian armed groups in Gaza is a war crime that endangers civilians

    Original URL path: http://www.amnesty.ca/news/news-releases/israelgaza-all-sides-must-protect-civilians-as-conflict-escalates-0 (2016-02-13)
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  • Justice for victims of War Crimes in Gaza Conflict | Amnesty International Canada
    Gift Raise Money for Human Rights Tips for Raising Money Fundraising Q As Donate a car Update your monthly donor information Join Us About Us What we do Key Facts about Amnesty International How We Make A Difference Our Leaders Our Impact Governance Financial Information Work With Us FAQ Members Thank You Contact Us Home Justice for victims of War Crimes in Gaza Conflict Wednesday July 8 2015 11 00 On 8 July 2014 Israel launched a military offensive against the Gaza Strip for the third time in less than six years WE COULDN T HEAR THE KIDS THEIR VOICES HAD COMPLETELY GONE THAT S WHEN I REALIZED THEY WERE ALL DEAD Khalil Abed Hassan Ammar who lost three of his four children in an Israeli attack on their Gaza City home on 20 July 2014 Over 50 days both Israeli forces and Palestinian armed groups committed war crimes and other serious breaches of international law To date neither side has held anyone to account During the war Israeli forces fired tens of thousands of artillery and tank shells into densely populated residential areas and launched air strikes on homes across the Gaza Strip killing families inside in many cases They struck schools sheltering civilians and attacked hospitals and medical workers including ambulance staff trying to evacuate the dead and wounded On the other side Palestinian armed groups fired thousands of rockets and mortars towards Israel and also stored and fired munitions from residential areas of Gaza Hamas forces executed at least 23 people in Gaza they accused of collaborating and arrested and tortured others Today we re calling on the Israeli and Palestinian authorities to genuinely investigate all possible crimes and prosecute those responsible 50 days of death and destruction in Gaza explore what happened We ve worked with Forensic Architecture to create an interactive online map and database of Israeli attacks on Gaza during the conflict Using data collected by Al Mezan and the Palestinian Center for Human Rights and witness testimonies collected by Amnesty International the Gaza Platform documents significant patterns in the Israeli attacks which point to likely war crimes TWEET NOW The evidence is overwhelming We cannot wait for more violence to destroy more lives we need action now Please tweet the three influential politicians below with our suggested tweets to keep the pressure on John Kerry USA must tell Israel and Palestine to investigate war crimes 50Days4Gaza Tweet this now PHammondMP UK must tell Israel and Palestine to investigate war crimes 50Days4Gaza Tweet this now HonRobNicholson Canada must tell Israel and Palestine to investigate war crimes 50Days4Gaza Tweet this now Targeting homes and medics The evidence suggests that the Israeli military had a deliberate policy of targeting family homes They continued to target homes throughout the war even after it became clear how many civilians were being killed Over the 50 days more than 19 000 homes were destroyed or damaged beyond repair Just one example is the Abu Jame family whose three storey

    Original URL path: http://www.amnesty.ca/blog/justice-for-victims-of-war-crimes-in-gaza-conflict (2016-02-13)
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  • Violence, death and injustice: A beginner’s guide to human rights in Nigeria | Amnesty International Canada
    Nigeria s overcrowded prisons have been convicted but have been waiting many for years for their cases to conclude Those who have been convicted often faced grossly unfair trials with many having suffered torture and lacking access to a lawyer More than a thousand people are currently languishing on death row awaiting the day when the State decides to kill them Ironically those who commit human rights violations rarely face prosecution Poverty and inequality are also major issues with millions of people lacking access to adequate housing being forcibly evicted from their homes and even lacking drinking water Around the Niger Delta entire communities live at the mercy of unscrupulous oil companies who have polluted their land devastating the environment that people depend on for food water and livelihoods Oil spills caused by both aging pipelines and illegal activity such as oil theft are notorious and endemic but the companies do not clean up properly if at all Aren t Boko Haram responsible for most problems in Nigeria The armed group Boko Haram is responsible for much of the violence and death that has rocked large parts of Nigeria Since the group first began its campaign of violence after the police killed the group s leader in an extrajudicial execution in 2009 they have lead a merciless campaign of killings and horror with at least 350 raids and bombings between 2013 and 2014 killing at least 5 400 civilians But Boko Haram s rise reflects the multiple problems faced by modern Nigeria including poverty The group is known to have recruited marginalized young men sometimes by force Once again the lack of justice for crimes under international law and other serious violations and abuses of human rights is a major problem Just as the government has failed to hold its own forces to account it has prosecuted very few people suspected of being members or supporters of Boko Haram for crimes under international law and other serious abuses of human rights such as torture What about the Chibok girls What has happened to them The 276 schoolgirls kidnaped last April from the Chibok Government Girls Secondary School are some of the victims of Boko Haram ruthless campaign against secular authority and institutions in Nigeria While some of the girls escaped from their captors 219 are still missing In videos posted online Boko Haram s leader Abubakar Shekau claimed the group had forced the girls into marriage but so far no one has been able to confirm what has happened to them Wouldn t Nigeria s problems be resolved with better laws The problem in Nigeria is not the lack of laws Actually since gaining independence in 1960 Nigeria has signed up to a number of international treaties designed to protect people s human rights Even the country s constitution guarantees people s basic rights While Nigeria is yet to criminalize torture and has other important gaps in its laws it is clear that one of the biggest problems the country

    Original URL path: http://www.amnesty.ca/blog/violence-death-and-injustice-a-beginner%E2%80%99s-guide-to-human-rights-in-nigeria (2016-02-13)
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