Ref: 16/2006

Date:  09 February 2006

Time: 11:30 GMT 


A Palestinian Family Survives a Stray Rocket Launched by Palestinian Gunmen against Israeli Targets

At approximately 18:30 on Wednesday, 8 February 2006, an armed Palestinian group launched a locally made rocket from Beit Lahia town in the northern Gaza Strip at an Israeli target.  The rocket went astray and hit a house belonging to Saber Mohammed ‘Abdul Dayem, nearly 300 meters from the launching site.  Fire broke out in the house and members of the family were terrified.  The rocket hit the southern part of the 3-storey house, where 10 people live.  The rocket exploded inside the living room and burnt the furniture.  Members of the family survived, as none were in the room at the time. 

This incident is not the first of its kind.  On 2 August 2005, Palestinian armed groups launched 3 locally made rockets at Israeli targets.  One of these rockets went astray and hit a house belonging to the family of al-Ashqar in the east of Beit Hanoun town in the northern Gaza Strip.  ‘Adnan Mustafa al-Ashqar, 50, and his son Yasser, 6, were killed and 9 other civilians, including 5 children, were injured. 

PCHR has repeatedly warned of launching locally made rockets at Israeli targets from inside populated areas.  Such attacks have endangered the lives of both Palestinian and Israeli civilians. 

PCHR strongly condemns such acts, which endanger civilian lives.  PCHR also reminds the Palestinian resistance groups of their responsibilities with regard to protection of civilians in keeping with international law.  PCHR calls on them to abstain from launching any military activities from inside or near civilian areas or which target civilians or civilian areas.  Attacks against civilians are in clear violation of international humanitarian law. 





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