Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Friday accused Israel of violating the laws of war in its bombing of a family home that killed 12 civilians during Operation Pillar of Defense last month.

"The Israeli claim that the attack on the Dalu home was justified is unsupported by the facts," HRW special advisor Fred Abrahams said, calling on Israel to explain its actions.

An IDF spokesperson initially told international media the bombing targeted a man "in charge of rocket launching," later describing the man as  a "known terror operative."

HRW research suggested the man was a mid-level civilian Hamas police officer.

“Israel’s belated effort, once it could scour the list of victims, to defend the attack by naming a civilian police officer found among the dead suggests an after-the-fact attempt to justify the unjustifiable,” Abrahams said.

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