Despite having advanced surveillance equipment, drone operators failed to exercise proper caution "as required by the laws of war" in verifying their targets were combatants, the New York-based monitoring group said, issuing a 39-page report citing six alleged strikes by remote-controlled aircraft.
Israel has a fleet of spy drones, also known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), but does not discuss whether some of the pilot-less aircraft also carry weapons.
The armed forces issued a statement casting doubt on Human Rights Watch's research methods and asserting that all Israeli forces' combat actions "conform to international law, as do the weapons and munitions used."
Israel said it launched its December-January offensive to counter rocket fire from Hamas-ruled Gaza, and has since weathered foreign censure over the killing of some 1,400 Palestinians, many of them civilians, during the fighting.
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