Friday, August 24, 2007

Israel kills 12 Gazans, including two children, in 24 hours

The Electronic Intifada

Report, Al Mezan, Aug 22, 2007

Palestinian children view a destroyed car belonging to Hamas after it was targeted in an Israeli air strike in the Gaza Strip, 20 August 2007. An Israeli missile assassinated six Hamas gunmen and wounded another, Palestinian hospital staff said. (Hatem Omar/MaanImages)

The Israeli Occupation Force (IOF) has escalated its aggression in the Gaza Strip. Twelve Palestinians, including two minors, were killed in Gaza in the past 24 hours. In addition, the Israel's Naval Forces opened fire at fishermen and arrested eight of them in the town of Rafah today.

According to Al Mezan's field investigations, at approximately 5pm on Monday 20 August 2007, an Israeli air raid targeted a car near the entrance of a former national security site in middle Gaza, killing six.

At approximately 1:45pm on Tuesday 12 August 2007, an Israeli warplane fired a missile at a crowd about half a kilometer from the borderline east of al-Qarara area in the southern Gaza town of Khan Younis. Three Palestinians were killed in this attack. They were identified as:
  • 42-year-old Muhammad Abu Salem;

  • 23-year-old Shadi Mustafa al-Saqqa; and

  • 29-year-old Awad Ibrahim al-Masri.
They were killed from shrapnel to different parts of their bodies.

It was also reported that, at approximately 6pm on the same day, the IOF fired a ground-to-ground missile and killed two children near the Agricultural School in the town of Beit Hanoun, north of the Gaza Strip. They were identified as:
  • 11-year-old Fadi Mansour al-Kafarneh; and

  • 12-year-old Abdul-Qadir Yousif Ashour.
In addition, 13-year-old Ahmed Said Al Baa' was moderately wounded by shrapnel to his left leg.

At approximately 7:55am on Wednesday 22 August 2007, the IOF fired a missile that landed in an open area, east of al-Sheikh Zayid town in Beit Lahia. Earlier at approximately 2am the IOF fired a missile at a crowd east of al-Shija'aiya neighborhood in the east of Gaza City, killing 22-year-old Yahia Omar Habib and critically injuring another person.

At approximately 9am today, the Israeli Naval Forces opened fire at fishing boats on Rafah beach and arrested eight fishermen, amongst them five minors. Al Mezan's fieldworker reported that their names were:
  • 48-year-old Kamel Rajab Abu Odeh;

  • 18-year-old Khalil Kamil Abu Odeh;

  • 14-year-old Abdul-Rahman Muhammad al-Qun;

  • 14-year-old Iyad Bassim Abu Slaymeh;

  • 22-year-old Ahmad Muhammad al-Najjar;

  • 16-year-old Muhammad Farahat Ashour;

  • 17-year-old Yousif Abdullah al-Najjar; and

  • 17-year-old Ali Hassan al-Najjar.
According to field investigations, an Israeli gunship opened fir at the fishermen's boats and caused damage to fifteen of them. Moreover, it fired an artillery shell that hit the house of a fisherman -- Abdul-Hadi al-Qun -- in the area. No injuries were reported.

Al Mezan Center strongly condemns the military escalation by the IOF, who have used indiscriminate, disproportionate force and conducted extra-judicial assassinations in Gaza. The Center condemns the killing and detention of children with the strongest words.

Since the start of August 2007, 22 Palestinians have been killed and 37 injured by IOF owing to the use of excessive and indiscriminate force in the Gaza Strip alone. Al Mezan asserts that these conducts represent grave breaches of international humanitarian law and international human rights law.

Regrettably, these conducts have continued under full silence from the part of the international community, which has failed to observe its legal and moral obligations towards Palestinian civilians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT). Al Mezan therefore renews its calls upon the international community to intervene and bring to an end the human rights violations conducted by IOF, and to provide effective protection for the civilian population of the OPT.

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