According to the health authorities in Gaza, these strikes killed almost 8,800 people, including 3,648 children.
THE United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights stated today that Israel’s shelling of Jabaliya refugee camp in Gaza ‘could amount to war crimes’.
“Given the high number of civilian casualties and the scale of the devastation following the Israeli airstrikes on the Jabaliya refugee camp, we express serious fears that these are disproportionate attacks that could amount to war crimes,” the UNHCR wrote in message on Platform X (formerly Twitter).
Israel repeatedly bombarded the Jabaliya refugee camp yesterday and today, causing significant material damage to this densely populated area and the death of several dozen people, according to Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, and images from AFPTV, the Agence France-Presse television.
Israel said on Tuesday it had targeted a Hamas commander, Ibrahim Biari, believed to be one of those responsible for the Palestinian Islamist movement’s deadly October 7 attack.
These unprecedented attacks have left at least 1,400 people dead, mostly civilians brutally murdered, while more than 240 are being held hostage in Gaza, according to Israeli authorities.
Israel responded with an incessant artillery and air force pounding the Gaza Strip.
According to Hamas health authorities, these strikes killed almost 8,800 people, including 3,648 children.
The principle of proportionality is one of the cornerstones of the laws of war defined by the Geneva Conventions.
Although civilians and civil structures should not be harmed, the death of civilians during an armed conflict does not in itself constitute a war crime.
Belligerents can launch proportionate attacks on military targets even if they know that civilians may be affected.
A crime is an attack that is deliberately directed against the civilian population, in accordance with the principle of discrimination, or if the amount of damage caused to civilians is excessive in relation to the expected military advantage.
That last point falls within the principle of proportionality invoked by the High Commission.
It does not itself decide whether a war crime has been committed, but that is a decision for the judiciary to make.
The International Criminal Court was established in 2002 and is the only independent international court that investigates crimes of genocidewar crimes and crimes against humanity.
Israel is not a member of the ICC.