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Hezbollah targeted attacks on civilians violated international law: Amnesty

[JURIST] Amnesty International [advocacy website] Thursday released a report [text] accusing Hezbollah of violating international law by deliberately and indiscriminately killing Israeli civilians through its firing of rockets into Israel during the 34-day Middle East conflict [JURIST news archive]. The rights group said Hezbollah militants committed war crimes when they failed to distinguish between civilian and military areas when launching thousands of rockets filled with metal ball bearings to increase their potential harmful impact. Hezbollah denies that it aimed for civilians, but almost 4,000 rockets were shot into Israel resulting in the deaths of approximately 40 civilians.

Amnesty has urged an investigation by the United Nations [official website] into alleged war crimes by both Israel and Hezbollah. Earlier this month, the UN sent a delegation [JURIST report] of four rights experts to investigate possible abuses during the 34-day conflict. Amnesty had previously accused Israel of deliberately inflicting unnecessary damage [Amnesty report; JURIST report] on Lebanese civilian infrastructure. The rights group also plans to investigate whether Hezbollah intentionally lived among Israeli citizens to maximize their attacks on civilians. AP has more.

4:53 PM ET - Hezbollah rejected Amnesty's claims of war crimes Thursday, saying that although rocket attacks targeted civilians, Hezbollah's attacks were in direct response to Israeli actions and did not violate international law. AP has more.

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