New digital tool exposes Israeli violations in Gaza

New digital tool exposes Israeli violations in Gaza
3 min read
08 July, 2015
An innovative online tool that maps Israeli abuses during the 2014 war on Gaza is being unveiled by rights group Amnesty International as part of a push for accountability.
A new online tool that aims to map and analyse data about Israel’s 2014 military operation in Gaza, was unveiled Wednesday, with hopes to push for accountability of war crimes.

The Gaza Platform, launched by Amnesty International and Forensic Architecture, comes exactly a year after the 50-day Gaza war, where 2,251 Palestinians, including 551 children were killed.

"The Gaza Platform is the most comprehensive record of attacks during the 2014 conflict to date" Philip Luther, Director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Programme explained.
     The launch of the Gaza Platform a year after the start of the conflict, is a significant step in the process of documenting the violations that took place

"It allows us to piece together more than 2,500 individual attacks, illustrating the vast scale of destruction caused by Israel’s military operations in Gaza during the war last summer," Luther added.

The pilot project records the time and location of each attack on an interactive map to highlight patterns, classifying it according to numerous criteria such as the type of attack, the site that was struck and the number of casualties.

"By revealing patterns rather than just presenting a series of individual attacks, the Gaza Platform has the potential to expose the systematic nature of Israeli violations committed during the conflict" Luther said.

Patterns of Israeli violations 

Last year's war was the longest, deadliest and most destructive. A United Nations report confirmed the unprecedented levels of human suffering in Gaza.

Last month, the Palestinian Authority submitted a request to the International Criminal Court to investigate war crimes committed by Israel during its wars, on the back of the UN report.

While a vast amount of multimedia information, including testimony, photos, videos and satellite imagery, is still being processed, the Gaza Platform currently shows that more than 270 Israeli attacks were carried out using artillery fire during the 2014 conflict, killing more than 320 civilians.

The Platform also clearly illustrates an overwhelming pattern of targeting residential homes, with more than 1,200 Israeli attacks on houses resulting in more than 1,100 civilian deaths, Amnesty said. 

Innovative tool for human rights research
 
“The launch of the Gaza Platform today, a year after the start of the conflict, is a significant step in the process of documenting the full scale of violations that took place in Gaza last year" said Eyal Weizman, Director of Forensic Architecture. 

"It is also a call for individuals and other organisations to send more photographs, testimonies and other forms of evidence about attacks they have experienced or documented during the conflict” Weizman added.
 
The digital age has rapidly increased the pace and means of information gathering during a human rights crisis such as last year’s conflict in Gaza, Amnesty said, adding that the Platform offers an efficient new method of processing and cross-referencing different types of information. 

“We see this project as a first step towards more effective conflict monitoring efforts, supported by collaborative platforms that facilitate the sharing of data between witnesses on the ground, organisations, and citizens worldwide” said Francesco Sebregondi, Research Fellow at Forensic Architecture and Coordinator of the Gaza Platform project.