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Press Release


Israel assassinate six Palestinians in Rafah



Date: 24 June 2002-06-24
Ref.: 86/2002


The Israeli Occupying Forces today assassinated six Palestinians, including three brothers. Two of the killed were apparently wanted by the Israeli Occupying Forces; the others killed in the operation were innocent civilians. The operation took place in el-Ginia neighborhood in Rahaf in the south of the Gaza strip.


According the PCHR’s investigation, an Israeli apache helicopter at approximately 07.00 this morning fired two missiles against a taxi carrying five passengers. When hit, the taxi was only about 500 m from Abu Youssif Hospital. The shelling completely destroyed the car, all five passengers were killed. They are:


1. Yasser Sa’id Rizq, 29, an Az Eldin Al Qassam activist.  He was on his way to the hospital for medical treatment after he was injured in his hand under unknown circumstance at the beginning of this month.

2. Bassam Sa’id Rizq, 32, the brother of Yasser. Was accompanying his brother to the hospital.

3. Yussif Sa’id Rizq, 24, also a brother of Yasser, was also accompanying him to the hospital.

4. Ameer Ahmad Qfaa, 28. His house was attacked by the Israeli Occupation Forces a few months ago in an attempt to arrest him, but he was not there.

5. Sami Omr Omr, 29, the taxi driver.

In addition, other cars driving in the area, were hit by big pieces of shrapnel. Midhat Abdel Hadi Al Jourani, 17, who was sitting in the back seat of one of the cars, was killed when his head was separated from his body by shrapnel. Moreover, three other bystanders were injured. Amongst them was the 11 year old girl Ayisha’ Mohammad Amr Khaleel who was injured by shrapnel in her arms resulting in broken bones. She was transferred to the hospital where they describe her situation as moderate. The bodies of the victims were too damaged to be immediately identified. The ambulances and civil defense vehicles arrived to the area and transferred the damaged bodies and wounded people to Abu Youssif il-Ngar Hospital for medical treatment.


The operation came short after the announcement made by the Israeli Government to deploy a series of measures aimed at escalating the attacks against the Palestinians people and their properties. These measures have been implemented by reoccupying most of the West Bank and announcing that the Israeli Occupying Forces will stay there for a longer period of time. In addition, the Israeli government has declared its intention to deport the families of suicide bombers and to resume political assassinations


PCHR is strongly condemning the extra-judicial killings, a war crime under the Fourth Geneva Convention, against Palestinians who have not been proven to be involved in illegal acts. Moreover, the Centre considers the assassinations committed today as part of the daily series of violations of the Palestinian people’s human rights.

From the outbreak of the intifada until now, the Israeli Occupation Forces has carried out 77 assassination operations in which 126 Palestinians were killed. Of the killed, 87 were targeted persons and 39 were bystanders. Among the 39 bystanders, 11 were children and 8 women; five of them only girls. 125 have been injured in the operations – 17 targeted and 108 bystanders. Also, several civil buildings and private properties have been severely damaged in the operations.


PCHR strongly condemns the assassinations this morning, which was carried out according to a declared policy of assassination adopted by the Israeli government, in violation of international law and international humanitarian law. In light of continued escalation of Israeli aggression, PCHR reiterates its call for the international community, through its organizations and agencies, to immediately intervene to prevent further deterioration of the conflict. PCHR also calls upon the international community to provide protection for the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territories as a step to pave the road for Palestinian self-determination.