The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) has published a new report: “Israeli Attacks on Palestinian Disabled Persons in the Gaza Strip.” The report documents crimes committed by Israeli occupation forces against disabled Palestinians in the Gaza Strip during the period (1 September 2003 – 30 November 2009).
The report presents information regarding the killing of Palestinian civilians with disabilities by Israeli forces, it presents cases wherein Palestinian civilians suffered disabilities as a result of Israeli actions. Of particular concern are Israeli attacks against Palestinian disabled persons during the latest Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip. Finally, the report details the impacts of the illegal closure that has been imposed on the Gaza Strip for over 2 and a half years; the closure has negatively affected the performance of rehabilitation institutions dedicated to the care of persons with disabilities and these institutions’ ability to offer health, social and educational services to all sectors of society, including women and children.
During the reporting period, 31 Palestinian disabled persons were killed, including 4 women and 6 children; 4 of whom were killed during the latest Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip. The killings of disabled persons varied; 9 persons were mentally disabled, 14 were physically disabled, 7 were suffering from psychological disorders, and one person was deaf and dumb.
During the reporting period (excluding the Israeli offensive), 5,496 civilians in the Gaza Strip were wounded. Hundreds of them sustained injuries, which resulted in permanent disabilities. Disabilities ranged from amputation of the upper or lower limps or both of them, due to which, most of them resulted in total or partial physical disabilities. A lot of them are suffering from loss of hearing or vision.
The latest 23-day Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip on 27 December 2008 led to an unprecedented increase in the number of the wounded and disabled persons. 5,300 Palestinians were wounded, including 600 ones who sustained permanent – mostly physical – disabilities.
The Israeli closure imposed on the Gaza Strip, which has been illegally imposed for over 2 ½ years, has negatively affected the performance of institutions of rehabilitation of persons with disabilities. These institutions have not been able to properly offer health, social and educational services to all sectors of the society, including women and children. Moreover, IOF have imposed restrictions on the movement of persons with disabilities to receive medical treatment abroad or to have access to equipment necessary for their training and rehabilitation. At the same time, foreign medical and technical personnel have not been able to enter the Gaza Strip to assist the disabled and provide them with necessary medical and rehabilitation services.
Note: The report is currently available in Arabic and will be available in English soon.