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Israeli NGO demands an end to the war in Gaza

Tel Aviv, Jul 6 (Prensa Latina) The Israeli NGO B'Tselem has demanded again today the end of the war in the Gaza Strip, and urged Benjamin Netanyahu's government to carry out a prisoner exchange with the Palestinian militias.

The cabinet must stop promoting the ill-founded idea that Israeli hostages can and should be released in military operations, the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories (B’Tselem) stressed in a statement.

Last June 8, the Israeli army released four prisoners during an operation in the Nuseirat refugee camp, located in the center of that coastal enclave, but ‘hundreds of Palestinians were killed and wounded for the sole crime of living or taking refuge’ in that locality, it regretted.

The non-governmental organization, which cited Palestinian health sources, stressed that 274 people were killed during the assault on Nuseirat, including 64 children and teenagers, 57 women and 37 elderly people.

Freeing the hostages is a worthy goal, but the cost in Palestinian lives is horrific given our authorities’ policy on the use of force in Gaza, it criticized.

B’Tselem said that although Hamas was holding the four prisoners in two residential apartments inside a refugee camp ‘this does not absolve Israel of the duty to refrain from illegal attacks that will certainly cause disproportionate harm to civilians’.

The group noted that if Israeli soldiers disguised as displaced civilians took part in the fighting it constitutes a violation of the prohibition of perfidy in international humanitarian law.

All this reaffirms the need for an agreement, including a complete cessation of fighting in Gaza, it stressed.