Human Rights Watch said Monday that armed Palestinian groups in Gaza had violated the laws of war by firing hundreds of rockets toward population centers in Israel during eight days of fighting in November. Three Israeli civilians, a soldier and a civilian contractor at a military base were killed by the rocket fire. The group said that two Palestinians were killed, apparently by rockets that fell short, and that the militants endangered Gaza civilians by firing from densely populated areas. More than 150 Palestinians were killed by Israel airstrikes and shelling. A spokesman for Hamas, the Islamic militant group that controls Gaza, rejected the report as biased, telling Reuters that the Palestinians were defending themselves. Human Rights Watch, a nongovernmental group based in New York, has criticized Israel for what it called unlawful attacks on a house that killed 12 people, and on Palestinian journalists during the conflict. Israel has insisted that it fired on legitimate targets.
This article originally appeared in The New York Times.