Ref: 127/2019

For the second consecutive day, the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) continue their attacks on the Gaza Strip through its air, naval and artillery forces, killing 6 Palestinian civilians; 3 brothers, including 2 children, and a father and his 2 sons, including a child, as well as wounding 22 civilians, including 4 children and 2 women.  Furthermore, IOF killed 12 members of the Palestinian armed groups.

In reference to the press release issued by PCHR on Tuesday, 12 November 2019, and according to PCHR’s fieldworkers, IOF warplanes bombed 47 targets with 64 missiles apart from artillery and gunboat shelling.

IOF airstrikes targeted 5 houses, a farm, a carpentry workshop, motorbikes, greenhouses, agricultural lands, public gatherings and Palestinian military sites, noting that some of those sites were previously targeted several times.  Moreover, artillery shelling has been marked in different parts of the eastern Gaza Strip.

The following are the airstrikes that inflicted civilian casualties:

According to PCHR investigations, at approximately 09:10 on Wednesday, 13 November 2019, the IOF warplanes launched 2 missiles at a carpentry workshop belonging to Ayman Fathi ‘Abdel ‘Aal in eastern al-Tofah neighborhood in Gaza City.  As a result, the workshop sustained severe damage, and 3 sons of the workshop’s owner were killed, including 2 children.  They were identified as Ibrahim (17), Isma’il (16) and Ahmed (23).  Moreover, 2 members of the Palestinian military groups were killed as they were spotted near the workshop.

Approximately 20 minutes later, IOF warplanes launched a missile at a motorbike driven by Ra’fat Soliman Mohammed ‘Ayyad (54) and his 2 sons, Islam (24) and Amir (7), when they reached their house door behind ‘Ali Mosque in al-Zaytoun neighborhood in Gaza City.  As a result, Rafa’t and his 2 sons were all killed, noting that they were only civilians on their way back home.

Accordingly, the death toll rises to 20, including the Islamic Jihad Senior Commander Bahaa’ Abu al-‘Ata and his wife; as well as 6 civilians, 4 of them are children.

PCHR fieldworkers documented that IOF destroyed 3 houses completely; 2 in Khan Younis and one in Rafah, after their owners and neighbors received calls from the IOF ordering them to leave right before the strikes.  IOF claimed that some residents of targeted houses are members of Palestinian armed groups.  Moreover, a farm was destroyed, and 850 turkeys and chicks died.

Due to the ongoing aggression, schools and universities were closed, forcing dozen thousands of students to stay home while government offices and NGOs remained closed for the second day, disrupting daily life in Gaza.

IOF continued to close Kerm Shalom Commercial Crossing, east of Rafah, which is Gaza’s only crossing for goods; and Beit Hanoun “Erez” Crossing, north of Gaza, dedicated for movement of individuals. IOF also continued to impose restrictions on fishing, including banning fishermen from sailing or fishing off Gaza shore except for limited area off southern Gaza Strip shore.

PCHR condemns the ongoing aggression on the Gaza Strip  and is concerned that it would escalate,  reminding that it is always Palestinian civilians who pay the price for the Israeli attacks and military escalations.  PCHR also stresses that IOF ongoing attacks that target densely-populated areas and use of weapons based on collective and retaliatory policy are in violation of the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention and amount to war crimes.

PCHR also Calls upon the international community to move immediately and urgently to pressure Israel to cease its attacks crimes against Palestinians and reiterates its call upon the High Contracting Parties to the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention to fulfill their obligations under Article 1; i.e. 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 on the guarantee of Palestinian civilians’ right to protection in the occupied territory.