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US arms used in Gaza slaughter

Weapons giant Boeing responsible for munitions that killed 43 civilians, Amnesty finds

THE United States weapons giant Boeing was responsible for munitions that destroyed two family homes in Gaza and killed 43 civilians, according to a damning new report.

The Amnesty International report said there were no military targets near the site of the attacks.

Some 24 Palestinians were killed during an air strike on October 10 on the al-Najjar family home in Deir al-Balah, while on October 22 an attack by Israeli forces on the Abu Mu’eileq family home in the same city killed 19 people.

Both locations were south of Wadi Gaza, within the area where on October 13 the Israeli military had ordered residents of northern Gaza to relocate to, and with both attacks survivors told Amnesty there had been no warning of an imminent strike.

Nineteen children were killed during the two attacks.

In both attacks the bombs were US-manufactured Joint Direct Attack Munitions, with photos of metal fragments from the weapons clearly showing the distinctive rivets and harness system from the frame surrounding the body of the bomb. 

In addition, the 70P862352 codes stamped on recovered bomb fragments are associated with Joint Direct Attack Munitions and the manufacturer Boeing. 

Additional codes stamped indicate that the Joint Direct Attack Munition that killed members of the al-Najjar family was manufactured in 2017, while the one used on the Abu Mu’eileq attack was manufactured in 2018.

Amnesty said that the incidents were either direct attacks on civilians or civilian objects or indiscriminate attacks, and is calling for them to be investigated as war crimes.

A survivor of the October 10 attack, Suleiman Salman al-Najjar said: “I was shocked. I rushed home and saw a scene of utter destruction. I could not believe my eyes. Everybody was under the rubble. The house was completely pulverised. The bodies were reduced to shreds. 

“Only the body of my son Nadim was recovered whole. My baby girl, Safa, we only found her hands.”

He added: ”Now, me and my two surviving sons live in a tent by the ruins of our home. Our lives have been destroyed in a moment. Our family has been destroyed. Something that was unthinkable is now our reality.”

Samaher Abu Mu’eileq, who survived the October 22 strike, told Amnesty: “My sisters-in-law and their children and my stepmother were killed, all of them women and children. Others were injured. What is the reason for such crime against civilians?”

Amnesty International secretary-general Agnes Callamard said: “The US-made weapons facilitated the mass killings of extended families.

“The fact that US-made munitions are being used by the Israeli military in unlawful attacks with deadly consequences for civilians should be an urgent wake-up call to the Biden administration.

“Two families have been decimated in these strikes, further proof that the Israeli military is responsible for unlawfully killing and injuring civilians in its bombardment of Gaza.

“In the face of the unprecedented civilian death toll and scale of destruction in Gaza, the US and other governments must immediately stop transferring arms to Israel that more likely than not will be used to commit or heighten risks of violations of international law.

“A state that continues to supply arms being used to commit violations may share responsibility for these violations.”

Amnesty said that even if there had been a legitimate military objective in the vicinity of any of the buildings, the use of explosive weapons with wide-area effects in such densely-populated areas could mean the indiscriminate attacks constitute war crimes.

There was no immediate comment from the US government or Boeing.

No Cold War Britain’s Fiona Edwards said: “The reality is that Israel’s assault on Gaza depends 100 per cent on US military support.”

Islington North MP Jeremy Corbyn told the Morning Star: “The Israeli army does not carry out these atrocities alone. It does so with the political and military support of Western governments, including our own. 

“The British people deserve to know how much and what kind of military support it is providing as well.”

Leicester East MP Claudia Webbe said she also believed that the extent of British involvement in the war in Gaza required investigation “amid reports of Rishi Sunak's promise to Netanyahu of direct military support.”

Meanwhile Israeli forces intensified their bombardment in and around Gaza’s second-largest city early on Tuesday, as ambulances and private cars came racing into a local hospital carrying people wounded in a bloody new phase of the war in Gaza.

At the Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis, ambulances brought dozens of wounded people in throughout the night including a man emerging from a car carrying a young boy in a bloody shirt, whose hand had been blown off.

“What’s happening here is unimaginable,” said Hamza al-Bursh, who lives in the neighbourhood of Maan.

“They strike indiscriminately.”

Residents said troops had advanced following heavy air strikes to Bani Suheila, a town just outside Khan Younis.

Halima Abdel-Rahman, who fled to the town earlier in the war from her home in Beit Lahiya in the north, said they could hear explosions through the night.

“They are very close,” she said. “It’s the same scenario we saw in the north.”

The Health Ministry in Gaza said the death toll in the territory since October 7 has surpassed 15,890 people.

Around 70 per cent of Palestinians killed are women and children, with more than 42,000 wounded. 

The ministry also says hundreds have been killed or wounded since the ceasefire’s end and many still are trapped under rubble.

According to Israeli authorities, the surprise October 7 uprising by Hamas and other resistance groups saw 1,200 Israelis killed and at least 239 people, mostly civilians, including 33 children, taken as prisoners of war.

More than 100 Israeli prisoners of war were released last week as part of a temporary ceasefire deal negotiated between Hamas and Israel. Around 240 Palestinians, most of whom had never been charged with a crime, were released from detention by the Israelis.

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