Ref: 97/2006

Date:  03 September 2006

Time: 10:30 GMT 

IOF Special Forces Move into Beit Hanoun

Father and Son Killed in Cold Blood, 2 Daughters Seriously Injured

9 Homes Destroyed, 2 Activists Detained, 6 Civilians Injured

In another crime in the ongoing war crimes in the Gaza Strip, IOF killed a Palestinian civilian and his son in cold blood in the town of Beit Hanoun in the predawn hours of Saturday, 2 September 2006. In addition, two of the slain man’s daughters were seriously injured. The raid by IOF undercover units also resulted in the injury of 6 civilians, including two parents and their 3 children, and the destruction of 9 homes. The casualties and damages were inflicted in an operation aiming to detain 2 “wanted” activists.  

PCHR’s preliminary investigation indicates that at approximately 02:30 on Saturday, 2 September 2006, an IOF undercover unit moved 2 kilometers inside the Gaza Strip into the town of Beit Hanoun. The unit advanced towards El-Amal Quarter in the northeast part of the town and surrounded a number of houses in the area. Under a cover of intense gunfire, the IOF troops stormed the house belonging to Naser Subeih Abu Abu El-Fieta (48) to detain one of his sons. The house owner was injured in the abdomen and legs. The troops ordered the household to leave their house.

Mohammad Ismail Abu Odeh (53) went out of his nearby house to see what was going on. IOF fired from a distance of 20 meters, killing him with bullets to the head. A few minutes later, Abu Odeh’s son, Ismail (27) went out of the house to look for his father. The IOF undercover unit fired at him, killing him with bullets to the chest and neck. He fell near his father. Abu Odeh’s daughters Hanan and Azhar (17 and 16 respectively) went out to look for their father and brother. The troops fired at them. Both were injured by bullets in different parts of their bodies. They fell at the entrance of their house. The remaining members of the Abu Odeh family pulled the girls inside the house. The soldiers sent Sari Abu El-Fieta (21), whom they were using as a human shield, to investigate Abu Odeh’s house. He informed the troops of the injured girls. The troops ordered him to bring them out and put them inside one of the tanks stationed in the area. He complied.

After nearly two hours of bleeding, Palestinian medical crews were allowed into the area to evacuate the girls to Kamal Odwan Hospital. Both girls are in very serious condition.

During the incursion, IOF destroyed 9 homes. Six of them were completely destroyed. One of the destroyed houses was that of the victims killed by IOF, the house belonging to the late Mohammad Abu Odeh. And at approximately 10:00 during the withdrawal of IOF from the area, a helicopter fired a rocket at the house of Eyad Taha Abed Rabbo El-Kafarna. The house was severely damaged. In addition, the house owner, his wife, and their 3 children were lightly injured. PCHR’s fieldworker reported that IOF detained 2 Palestinians claimed to be “wanted” by Israel. They are Younis Naser Subeih Abu El-Fieta (22) and Mahmoud Mohammad El-Tarabin (22).

PCHR reiterates its strong condemnation of the IOF killing of Palestinian civilians,  which are a form of reprisal and collective punishment against Palestinians that are a violation of article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention. In the Center’s view, the complacency of the international community and the High Contracting Parties of the 4th Geneva Convention and their failure tot take effective steps to stop Israeli war crimes has been a supporting and encouraging element for Israel to continue perpetrating additional war crimes against Palestinian civilians. The Centre reminds the High Contracting Parties of:

         Their obligations under article 1 of the convention to ensure respect of the convention under all circumstances;

         Their obligations in article 146 of the convention to pursue suspects of committing serious violations of the convention, noting that these violations are war crimes according to article 147, as specified in the first protocol additional to the convention

 

-End-