Six Palestinians, two farmers and four security men, killed in retaliation by Israeli occupation forces in the northern Gaza Strip
Date: 3 October 2001
Time: 09:30 GMT
This morning, in a disproportionate retaliation in response to an attack on “Elli Sinai” settlement in Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip by two Palestinian gunmen, Israeli occupation forces killed six Palestinians, two farmers and four security men, and injured four. Israeli occupation forces moved into areas under full control of the Palestinian National Authority, north of Beit Lahia, under the cover of intensive shelling, while bulldozers were sweeping land and destroying buildings. Tension spread over the area and Palestinian civilians left their houses and farms, which have been shelled by the Israeli forces during the ongoing incursion.
According to PCHR’s investigations, at approximately 03:00 GMT, Israeli occupation forces, reinforced with tanks and bulldozers, moved into Palestinian areas in the northern Gaza Strip. Israeli tanks and military locations around Jewish settlements established on Palestinian land in the north of Beit Lahia intensively shelled the Palestinian areas. The incursion coincided with an attack by Israeli gunboats on Beit Lahia. An artillery shell fell onto a Palestinian farm in Al-Sayafa area, north of Beit Lahia, 700m south of “Elli Sinai” settlement. The owner of the farm, Maher Edris Ahmed Khudeir, 23, and a farmer, Mahmoud Mohammed El-Shurafa, 25, both from Beit Lahia, were killed.
The Israeli forces moved into Palestinian areas from two directions; 1-2 km from the north towards the south, and 3-3½ km from the east towards the west. They shelled eight Palestinian security sites, adjacent to Jewish settlements, totally destroying them. At approximately 06:00 GMT, site (6) of the Palestinian National Security Forces, south of “Dogit” settlement, was shelled by the Israeli forces. Three Palestinian security men were killed as follows:
Nour El-Din Mohammed Salim Qweider, 25, from Al-Daraj neighborhood in Gaza City, killed by shrapnel from an artillery shell in the upper part of the body;
Mahmoud Ibrahim Abu Hani, 23, from Al-Shati refugee camp, killed by shrapnel from an artillery shell throughout the body; and
Wa’el Fu’ad ‘Awwad, 25, from Deir El-Balah, killed by shrapnel from an artillery shell throughout the body.
Furthermore, three security men were injured as follows:
Mohammed Ahmed ‘Awadh, 23, from Sheikh Radwan in Gaza City, seriously injured by shrapnel from an artillery shell throughout the body;
Sufian ‘Abdel-Fattah Abu El-Jedian, 28, from Tal El-Za’tar area in Jabalya, injured by shrapnel from an artillery shell in the chest; and
Nader Tawfiq El-Bes, 22, from Tal El-Za’tar area in Jabalya, injured by shrapnel in the left hand.
They were evacuated to Shifa’ Hospital in Gaza City.
At approximately 08:15 GMT, Israeli occupation forces fired at Sayed ‘Abed Ziada, 34, from Al-Tuffah neighborhood in Gaza City, a member of the Palestinian National Security Forces, killing him with a live bullet in the head. In addition, a Palestinian farmer, Anwar Ramadan Abu Halima, 28, from Beit Lahia, was injured by shrapnel in the left hand. He was evacuated to Shifa’ Hospital in Gaza City.
PCHR strongly condemns this attack which is part of a clear pattern of war crimes perpetrated by Israeli occupying forces against Palestinian civilians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. PCHR draws attention to the fact that such retaliatory acts against civilians violate the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 (relative to the protection of civilians in war). PCHR reiterates its call for the High Contracting Parties to the Convention to take immediate necessary steps to provide protection for Palestinian civilians and their property, in the face of continued violations of the Convention and international humanitarian law by Israeli forces in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.