JERUSALEM (Reuters/AFP) - Amnesty International said on Wednesday Israel inflicted wanton destruction in the Gaza Strip in attacks that often targeted Palestinian civilians during an offensive in December and January in the Hamas-run enclave. The London-based rights group, in a 117-page report on the 22 days of Israeli offensive against Palestinians, also criticised Hamas for rocket attacks on Israel, which it called war crimes. Among other conclusions, Amnesty said it found no evidence to support Israeli claims that Gaza fighters deliberately used civilians as human shields, but it did, however, cite evidence that Israeli troops put children and other civilians in harms way by forcing them to remain in homes taken over by soldiers. Amnesty International said some 1,400 Palestinians were killed in Israels Operation Cast Lead, including 300 children and hundreds of innocent civilians, a figure broadly in line with those from the Hamas-run Health Ministry in Gaza and the independent Palestinian Centre for Human Rights. Accusing Israel of breaching laws of war, Amnesty said: Much of the destruction was wanton and deliberate, and was carried out in a manner and circumstances which indicated that it could not be justified on grounds of military necessity. Amnesty said although that rockets fired by Palestinians from the Gaza Strip rarely cause casualties but often sow fear and panic, their use was indiscriminate and hence unlawful under international law. It also accused Hamas and other armed groups of endangering the lives of the Palestinian civilian population in Gaza by firing rockets and locating military equipment near homes. The report however dismissed Israeli claims that Hamas had used Palestinian civilians as human shields. Amnesty said it found no evidence that Hamas or other armed groups forced residents to stay in or around buildings used by fighters, or that fighters prevented residents from leaving buildings or areas which had been commandeered by militants. But the report said in several cases Israeli soldiers used Palestinian civilians, including children, as human shields, endangering their lives by forcing them to remain in or near houses which they took over and used as military positions. Meanwhile, the head of the UNs Palestinian refugee agency called on Israel to lift its blockade on the Gaza Strip, where it said the local population was lacking the most basic necessities. People cant live a normal life (in Gaza), Karen Koning AbuZayd, Director of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), told journalists in Vienna. They need lightbulbs, washing powder. Children need new shoes. (But) shoes are not allowed. There is a shortlist of what is allowed and nothing else is allowed, she added. Koning AbuZayd was speaking after the signing of an agreement with the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) to provide $1.2 million to fund scholarships for Palestinian students.