Critics say such allegations are too sweeping, and that Israel’s heavy bombardment of one of the densely populated territories is itself the main factor putting civilians at risk. Sarit Michaeli of the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem said that while using human shields violates international humanitarian law, “this does not give Israel the excuse to violate international humanitarian law as well.” UN Calls for Israeli-Palestinian Ceasefire Play Video Israel issues early warnings before attacking many Gaza targets and the military says it uses other means to do its utmost to avoid harming bystanders. But Michaeli said civilians have been killed when Israel bombed family homes of Hamas militants or when residents were unable to leave their homes quickly enough following the Israeli warnings. The “Iron Dome,” a U.S.-funded, Israel-developed rocket defense system, has intercepted more than 130 incoming rockets, preventing any Israeli fatalities so far. A handful of Israelis have been wounded by rockets that slipped through. Militant rockets have reached further into Israel than ever before, with air raid sirens sounding even in the northern city of Haifa, 100 miles (160 kilometers) away. On Saturday, air raid sirens went off in Jerusalem, about 45 miles (70 kilometers) from Gaza, for a third time.
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