Al-Mizan Center for Human Rights said on Tuesday that Israel deliberately targeted intellectual property during its recent onslaught on Gaza.
A special report issued by the center said museums, old neighborhoods, educational facilities, historical and archeological sites and worship locations were bombarded by Israel, constituting a grave violation of international humanitarian law and a war crime punishable before international courts.
The report said that, in accordance with international law, intellectual property is to be protected during armed conflicts and should be protected against military attacks. “Intellectual property is the most important for the humanity and is included in enhanced protection … imperative military necessities should never be used as a pretext to rule out these obligations.”
The center called upon the international community to take practical steps to investigate the Israeli war crimes and crimes against humanity, perpetrated during the aggression on Gaza, and to bring the criminals to justice.
It further called upon the parties to the Geneva Conventions to uphold their responsibility, as well as to pressure Israel to stop the collective punishment policies, to lift its siege on Gaza and to allow construction materials into the war-torn coastal enclave.
The center called upon the concerned international organizations, on top of which the UNESCO, to act to protect the Palestinian cultural heritage against the Israeli assaults and to rebuild what the war has devastated.