Date: 12 January 2009
Time: 13:12 GMT
17th Day of Continuous IOF Attacks Across the Gaza Strip:
26 Palestinians Killed, Including 6 Children and 3 Women:
Current Death Toll Stands at 884:
Victims include 211 Children:
Mass Internal Displacement of Gaza Families
The Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) continued their indiscriminate attacks in the Gaza Strip for the sixteenth consecutive day, with the estimated number of victims rising to 884. During the reporting period, IOF attacks were most ferocious in Gaza City and the northern Gaza Strip, where Palestinian civilians continued to be killed indiscriminately. The killing of children has become a characteristic of the attacks in both these areas. The increasing number of civilian victims, especially children and women, and the continuing use of excessive lethal force against civilians and their property, indicates that IOF is aiming to cause maximum deaths of Palestinian civilians and destruction of their property.
Scenes of death and destruction in the Gaza Strip are now reminiscent of the massacres perpetrated in the Sabra, Shatilla and Qana refugee camps in Lebanon in 1982. The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) has a dedicated team of field workers, whose ongoing investigations indicate that IOF are employing weapons which may be internationally prohibited in order to attack civilians in densely populated area throughout the Gaza Strip. These weapons include bombs that detonate before landing, dispersing flaming shrapnel which is causing intense burning of skin down to the bone, and thus destroys limbs. IOF have also deployed bombs that release dense, toxic smelling white smoke that has caused suffocation and fainting amongst victims.
During the reporting period, thousands of Palestinian civilians from in and around Khuza’a village, east of Khan Yunis, were forced to flee their house due to intense IOF shelling of the area. Also during the reporting period, PCHR field workers investigated the deaths of 6 Palestinian civilians, including two children, who had been killed in the previous few days, but who had not been formally identified because of confusion in hospitals in Gaza, due to the overwhelming number of IOF civilian victims. PCHR has gathered full information about these six victims and they have now been added to the total number of Palestinians who have been killed by IOF during its ongoing war against the population of the Gaza Strip.
In light of the deteriorating humanitarian situation and the continued killing of innocent civilians, including entire families, PCHR demands that the international community immediately intervene in order to halt the IOF bloodshed.
This is a summary of the crimes committed by IOF in the Gaza Strip during the last 24 hours.
Northern Gaza Strip
· At approximately 12:00 on Sunday, 11 January 2009, an IOF drone fired a missile at a number of Palestinian civilians in al-Banat Street in the east of Beit Hanoun. As a result, 3 civilians were wounded, including Mohammed Khaled al-Shitari, 21, whose wounds were described as serious.
· At approximately 13:10, Hussein Nazmi Abu Sultan, 40, was killed, when IOF tanks shelled the al-Juron area in the east of Jabalya.
· At approximately 15:35, two children were killed when IOF tanks shelled the same area: the victims were Mos’ab ‘Abdul Mohsen Khader, 12, and Amal Najeeb ‘Alloush, 15.
· Also at approximately 15:35, Iman Sami Ahmed Nussair, 23, was seriously wounded, when IOF tanks shelled Palestinian houses in al-Qarman Street in the east of Beit Hanoun town. At the same time, Dalia Fareed Abu ‘Ouda, 12, was moderately injured when IOF tanks shelled al-Amal quarter in the east of Beit Hanoun town.
· At approximately 15:50, IOF fired incinerating artillery shells at Palestinian houses in Zimmu Street in the east of Beit Hanoun town. Fire broke out in a number of houses and 5 civilians suffered smoke inhalation. Later, IOF telephoned residents of a number of houses in the area and ordered them to leave their houses and move to the center of the town.
· At approximately 19:00, IOF warplanes bombarded a 5-storey house belonging to Ibrahim Ahmed Lubbad, 60, in Beit Lahia. The house was destroyed and a number of neighboring houses were heavily damaged.
· Also at approximately 19:00, Mohammed ‘Abdul Mo’ti, 19, from Jabalya, was killed by IOF tank shelling whilst was inside his house.
· At approximately the same time medical sources confirmed that Fat’hi Shaiboub Ahmed al-Shanbari, 22, from al-Amal neighborhood in Beit Hanoun, had died of wounds sustained earlier the same day when an IOF drone bombarded the west of Jabalya town.
· At approximately 03:20 on Monday, 12 January, 2009, IOF warplanes bombarded a 2-storey house belonging to Ziad Hamdi al-Masri, 20, in Beit Lahia town. Three members of the family were wounded and the house was destroyed.
· At approximately 05:00, medical sources confirmed that Sa’id Mamoud al-‘Emari, 33, died of wounds he had sustained when IOF warplanes bombarded al-Fakhoura School in Jabalya on 7 January.
· At approximately 05:30, an IOF drone fired two missiles at a house belonging to ‘Ali ‘Oqail in the Tal a-Za’tar area, east of Jabalya. The house was damaged.
· At approximately 05:35, an IOF warplane bombarded a house belonging to the family of Mahmoud Fu’ad Abu Matar, who had been killed by IOF, in Beit Lahia town. The house was destroyed and a number of neighboring homes were damaged.
· At approximately 07:20, the IOF artillery shelled the building of the Ministry of Interior in the northern Gaza Strip. A Palestinian civilian was seriously wounded and the building was heavily damaged.
· At approximately 07:30, ‘Afaf Hassan Jom’a, 34, was killed and 3 of her children injured when the IOF artillery shelled a house belonging to her family near Taha Mosque in the al-Twam area.
· At approximately 08:00, a woman who was killed on Friday, 9 January, in Beit Lahia, was formally identified by her family. Amal Ahmed Yassin al-Madhoun, 22, was killed when IOF opened fire at her house.
· At approximately 09:30, the body of a child, ‘Abdul Rahman Mohammed ‘Atiya Ghaben, was found near al-Baraka Mosque in Beit Lahia. He had been killed the previous day, when an IOF drone bombarded the area. At the same time, medical sources also confirmed that Tasneem Yasser al-Rafati, aged one and a half years, had died of injuries sustained when an IOF drone bombarded her family’s house at approximately 17:00 on 11 January.
· At approximately 09:30 on 12 January, an IOF drone fired a missile at Old Gaza Street in Jabalya town. A Palestinian civilian, who has not been formally identified, was killed.
· At approximately 19:00 on Sunday, 11 January 2009, IOF warplanes bombarded a deserted house near al-Saraya security compound in al-Remal neighborhood. The houses were destroyed and a number of neighboring homes were damaged.
· Also at approximately 19:00, IOF tanks shelled a house belonging to Ahmed Wasfi Mushtaha in the al-Shoja’eya neighborhood in the east of Gaza City. As a result, Mushtaha’s son, 24-year-old Wajeeh, was killed. When neighbors rushed to the house to rescue the family, an IOF warplane fired a missile at the area. Two brothers, Mohammed Mahmoud al-Jundi, 20, and his brother Munther, 34, were both killed.
· On Sunday 11 January, PCHR field workers documented the deaths of 6 Palestinian civilians, including two children, who had been killed in the previous few days. These six civilians had not appeared on the lists of IOF victims because of confusion at Gaza hospitals due to the overwhelming number of civilian victims. PCHR has gathered full information about these six victims and they have now been added to the total number of Palestinians who have been killed by IOF during its ongoing war against the population of the Gaza Strip.
· At approximately 23:00 on Sunday, IOF tanks shelled a house belonging to Hashem al-Qatati near al-Shifaa’ Factory in al-Zaytoun neighborhood in the east of Gaza City. Al-Qatati’s wife, 42-year-old Dalal ‘Aashour al-Qatati, was killed.
· At approximately 08:00 on Monday, 12 January 2009, IOF troops that had already moved into al-Shaoja’eya neighborhood in the east of Gaza City fired an artillery shell at a number of Palestinian civilians who were attempting to evacuate the bodies of two Palestinian resistance activists who had been killed during armed clashes with IOF. As a result, two Palestinian civilians, including a child, were killed: the victims were Jaber Hussein Habeeb, 52, and Mohammed Jamal Mohammedain, 17. The resistance activists who had been already killed have been identified as: Mohammed Jamal Nassar, 22; and ‘Eid al-Shindi, 30.
· At approximately 08:30, Ayman Faraj Shaldan, 35, was killed in armed clashes with IOF in the al-Zaytoun neighborhood in the east of Gaza City.
· At approximately 08:45, medical sources confirmed the death of Jihad Rashad Dalloul, 16, who died of wounds he had sustained on 3 January in al-Zaytoun neighborhood in the east of Gaza City.
· At approximately 10:00 IOF fired artillery shelled into al-Zaytoun neighborhood in the east of Gaza City. A Palestinian civilian, Mohammed ‘Adnan al-Haddad, 19, was killed whilst near his house.
Central Gaza Strip
· At approximately 12:00 on Sunday, 11 January 2009, an IOF warplane bombarded open areas in the northwest of al-Zawaida village.
· At approximately 15:00 on the same day, IOF tanks shelled houses in al-Mughraqa village to the north of al-Nusseirat refugee camp. Two Palestinian civilians, including a woman, were wounded. The shelling continued sporadically until the following morning.
· Also at approximately 15:00 on 11 January, IOF gunboats shelled al-Sawahra area in the southwest of al-Nusseirat refugee camp. The shelling continued sporadically until the following morning.
· At approximately 12:00 on Sunday, 11 January 2009, as a result of indiscriminate shelling by IOF tanks that moved into the east of Khuza’a village, east of Khan Yunis, Ussama Khaled Tahseen Abu Rujaila, 17, was killed. His brother, 15-year-old Sami, was also wounded by shrapnel and gunshots. Their father suffered severe shock.
· At approximately 13:00, IOF tanks positioned at the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel shelled houses in the al-Zanna area and Bani Suhaila village, east of Khan Yunis. As a result of the shelling, that continued sporadically for three hours, two Palestinian civilians, ‘Alaa’ Hamed Abu Jame’, 20: and Mohammed Younis Abu Jame’, 20, were killed. Another six civilians, including 3 children, were wounded.
· At approximately 18:00 on the same day, IOF shelled an open area in the west of Khan Yunis. No casualties were reported.
· At approximately 23:00, IOF withdrew from the east of Khuza’a village after they had demolished a number of houses and razed areas of agricultural land.
· At approximately 03:00 on Sunday, 12 January 2009, IOF moved into the east of Khuza’a village, east of Khan Yunis, once again, under cover of intensive artillery shelling. Thousands of Palestinian civilians were forced to flee their houses.
· At approximately 13:00 on Sunday, 11 January 2009, an IOF drone fired a missile at a civilian car that was traveling in al-Junaina neighborhood in Rafah. The missile hit the car and wounded 3 Palestinians who attempted to escape from the car, as well as a bystander.
· At approximately 14:30, IOF warplanes bombarded agricultural areas near the building of the education department in al-Shaboura refugee camp. The building, and a number of neighboring houses, were damaged.
· At approximately 15:05, an IOF drone fired a missile near Taha Hussein Street in Kherbat al-‘Adas area in the northeast of Rafah. As a result, Mohammed ‘Abdullah al-Sha’er, 24, was killed and Mahmoud Mohammed Abu Louli, 24, was wounded.
· At approximately 15:10, IOF warplanes bombarded the border strip between the Gaza Strip and Egypt near Yebna refugee camp and Salah al-Din Gate in the south of Rafah. Two Palestinian civilians were wounded and a number of houses were damaged.
· At approximately 11:00 on Monday, 12 January 2009, IOF warplanes carried out six air strikes on the border strip between the Gaza Strip and Egypt near Yebna refugee camp and Salah al-Din Gate in the south of Rafah. As a result, fuel tanks in the area were set alight.
In light of the crimes committed by IOF against the Palestinian civilian population and civilian objects in the Gaza Strip, PCHR:
- Calls for an immediate halt to the IOF offensive against the population of the Gaza Strip.
- Calls for an immediate halt to all IOF measures of collective punishment being imposed on the Palestinian civilian population in the Gaza Strip, especially the total siege and closure of the Gaza Strip, and demands safe movement for both persons and goods into and out of the Gaza Strip.
- Reiterates that crimes committed by IOF are clear evidence not only for the excessive and disproportionate use of force, but also of acts of retaliation against Palestinian civilians.
- Holds Israel responsible for the lives of Palestinian civilians in all circumstances. Under international law, the existence of armed resistance does not in any case justify the use of such excessive, disproportionate and indiscriminate force.
- Warns that the lives of Palestinian civilians are endanger in light of threats vowed by Israeli political and military officials to expand military operations against the population of the Gaza Strip.
- Calls upon the international community to immediately intervene to stop such crimes, and calls upon the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Convention, Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, to fulfill their obligation under article 1 of the Convention to ensure respect for the Convention in all circumstances, as well as their obligation under article 146 to search for and prosecute those who are responsible for perpetrating grave breaches of the Convention, as such breaches constitute war crimes according to article 147 of the Convention and the Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and Relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I).
- Calls upon international and Israeli human rights organizations to raise their voices against war crimes being committed by IOF against the unarmed Palestinian civilian population of the Gaza Strip.
- Calls for the establishment of an independent inquiry commissions to investigate crimes committed by IOF against Palestinian civilians, including IOF use of internationally prohibited weapons.
- Calls for the prosecution of all political and military officials who are found responsible for committing war crimes against Palestinian civilians.