Ref: 122/2019

A Palestinian civilian was killed and another was wounded at Saturday dawn, 02 November 2019, in an Israeli airstrike in southwestern Khan Younis, as IOF carried out dozens of airstrikes across the Gaza Strip.

According to PCHR’s investigations, at approximately 01:37, an Israeli drone fired a missile near Mahmoud Hamzah al-Farah’s 80sqm summer house located on a 1-dunum land in an agricultural area in al-Mawasi, southwest of Khan Younis. Few minutes, later an IOF warplane fired a missile at the house and destroyed it completely causing a huge crater.  As a result, Ahmed Mohammed ‘Abdullah al-Shahri (27) was killed and his body was retrieved from the rubble, while Khamis Ayman Khamis ‘Abdin (24) sustained wounds and bruises in the head, back and hands.  ‘Abdin stated to PCHR fieldworker that he and al-Shahri were sleeping at the summer house, which his family looks after, when they were waken up by the sound of an explosion and then a louder one.  He recalls waking up later to find himself in Nasser Hospital sustaining various injuries and then he learnt that his friend was killed.  It is noteworthy that there were no armed groups related sites near the targeted area.

This attack was part of a series of airstrikes on 12 military sites and agricultural lands across the Gaza Strip.

Later on, Avichay Adraee, Spokesperson of the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF), said in a statement that IOF warplanes carried out several airstrikes on several Hamas targets, including a military navy site, an air defense site, another site with an anti-missile shooting simulator, military training, weapons manufacturing and storage sites; as well as, Hamas underground networks in the northern, central and southern Gaza Strip.

Refuting the Israeli claims, all initial data collected by PCHR fieldworker, who visited the targeted house and land in Khan Younis, emphasize that the targeted area is civilian as are the victims.

PCHR condemns this crime which further proves Israel’s ongoing and indiscriminate use of destructive force, noting that only Palestinian civilians pay the price for the Israeli attacks.

PCHR also warns that the continuous Israeli threats and airstrikes subject more than 2 million Palestinians exhausts their mental and psychological health and threatens their lives and bodily integrity.

PCHR also reiterates its call upon the High Contracting Parties to the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention to fulfill their obligations under Article 1 to respect and ensure respect for the Convention in all circumstances and their obligations under Article 146 to prosecute persons alleged to commit grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention. These grave breaches constitute war crimes under Article 147 of the same Convention and Protocol (I) Additional to the Geneva Conventions regarding the guarantee of Palestinian civilians’ right to protection in the oPt.