World

Amnesty criticizes Israeli airstrikes in Gaza, says war crimes possibly committed

FILE - In this Aug. 24, 2014 file photo, Palestinians inspect the damage of a commercial shopping center after an Israeli strike in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip.  The London-based rights group Amnesty International said Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2014, that Israel apparently committed war crimes when it flattened four landmark buildings during its military operation in the Gaza Strip last summer. During 50 days of fighting, Israel carried out hundreds of airstrikes. In the closing days of the war, it flattened a shopping mall in the southern town of Rafah and three high-rise buildings in Gaza City. (AP Photo/Eyad Baba, File)

FILE - In this Aug. 24, 2014 file photo, Palestinians inspect the damage of a commercial shopping center after an Israeli strike in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip. The London-based rights group Amnesty International said Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2014, that Israel apparently committed war crimes when it flattened four landmark buildings during its military operation in the Gaza Strip last summer. During 50 days of fighting, Israel carried out hundreds of airstrikes. In the closing days of the war, it flattened a shopping mall in the southern town of Rafah and three high-rise buildings in Gaza City. (AP Photo/Eyad Baba, File)  (The Associated Press)

Amnesty International says Israel apparently committed war crimes when it flattened four landmark buildings during its military operation in the Gaza Strip last summer.

In a report, the London-based rights group said Tuesday that the airstrikes amounted to "the deliberate targeting of civilian objects." It said targeting civilians is a "serious violation" of the international rules of war.

During 50 days of fighting, Israel carried out hundreds of airstrikes. In the closing days of the war, it flattened a shopping mall in the southern town of Rafah and three high-rise buildings in Gaza City. Israel warned residents to flee ahead of time, but Amnesty says dozens of people were wounded and hundreds left homeless.

Israel says the buildings were used by Hamas as command centers. It called the report "unfounded."