Jerusalem (AFP) - In a damning report, Amnesty International said Thursday Palestinian rocket fire during the 2014 summer war in Gaza had killed more civilians in the Gaza Strip than in Israel.
Such deadly attacks on civilians constituted "a war crime," it said.
The report urged armed Palestinian groups to end all direct attacks on Israeli civilians and also ensure everything was done to protect Palestinian civilians in Gaza from the effects of those attacks.
The radical Islamic Jihad movement swiftly denounced the report as biased.
The 50-day war killed some 2,200 people in Gaza, most of them civilians, and 73 on the Israeli side, most of them soldiers.
The report said rocket attacks had killed six civilians in Israel, including a child, but that other rockets aimed at the Jewish state had fallen short and killed at least 13 civilians, 11 of them children, in Gaza.
"In the deadliest incident believed to have been caused by a Palestinian armed group during the conflict, 13 Palestinian civilians –- 11 of them children –- were killed when a projectile exploded next to a supermarket in the crowded Al-Shati refugee camp," the report said.
Palestinian witnesses blamed the attack on the beachside camp on an Israeli F-16 warplane, but the army denied that, accusing militants of misfiring their own rockets.
And Amnesty said "an independent munitions expert who examined the available evidence... concluded that the projectile used in the attack was a Palestinian rocket."
Figures released by the Israeli army after the war ended on August 26 showed that Gaza militants fired 4,591 projectiles at Israel.
Of those, 3,659 struck Israeli territory and 735 were intercepted by the Iron Dome air defence system, leaving another 197 falling short and landing inside the coastal enclave.
- 'Flagrant disregard' -
Militant groups used unguided projectiles which were "inherently indiscriminate," it said, noting that "they are "prohibited under international law and their use constitutes a war crime."
"In launching these attacks, they displayed a flagrant disregard for international humanitarian law and for the consequences of their violations on civilians in both Israel and the Gaza Strip," said Philip Luther, Amnesty's director for the Middle East and North Africa.
He said Palestinian armed groups "must end all direct attacks on civilians" and take all feasible precautions "to protect civilians in the Gaza Strip from the effects of such attacks" including storing weapons or letting militants operate "within or near densely populated areas."
Islamic Jihad said the rocket fire was in self-defence, and did little damage in comparison with Israel's advanced war machinery.
"This report gives Israel a pretext to launch a new war against Gaza," spokesman Daud Shihab said.
"The Palestinian resistance is acting is self-defence with simple and primitive combat tools while Israel acts in aggression to kill and scare people and destroy the infrastructure."
Although Palestinian rockets were "primitive and locally built" they only managed to cause "limited" damage, unlike the smart weapons and modern technology "used by Israel to bomb hospitals, ambulances, houses and residential towers," he said.
За неделю до обращения палестинской администрации в Международный уголовный суд в Гааге правозащитная организация Amnesty Internationalопубликовала отчет, в котором обвинила ХАМАС и вооруженные группировки в секторе Газы в военных преступлениях. Согласно этому документу, в результате минометно-ракетных обстрелов летом 2014 года погибло больше жителей сектора Газы, чем граждан Израиля.
В ответе указывается, что в результате ракетно-минометных обстрелов в ходе 50-дневного вооруженного конфликта в Израиле погибли шесть гражданских лиц, включая четырехлетнего ребенка. При этом 28 июля 2014 года в результате неудачного запуска ракеты палестинскими боевиками, в лагере беженцев Шати были убиты 13 гражданских лиц, в том числе 11 детей.