No Safe Place in Gaza Strip: Israeli Adopts Policy of Multi-Storey Buildings’ Destruction… Palestinian Civilians… Where to Go?
Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) strongly condemns attacks by Israeli
forces against multi-storey houses and buildings in the Gaza Strip, which
constitutes a serious escalation in the policy of collective punishment and
retaliatory acts against civilians.
These attacks have terrified the civilian population, as they have no
safe place for them. Every place in the Gaza Strip has become a possible
target for the Israeli forces and there has been no red lines when targeting
civilian objects and civilians who have no idea where to go, especially as each
and every grain of sand in the Gaza Strip has become a target for the Israeli
targeting civilians and civilian property has been the most prominent feature
since the beginning of the Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip on 08 July, the
last 4 days have witnessed a new pattern of Israeli attacks on civilians and
civilian property by targeting multi-storey buildings. Israeli forces started
this new pattern as a new form of collective punishment on Saturday night, 23
August 2014 as Israeli warplanes bombed and completely destroyed multi-storey
buildings in coincidence with the demolition of entire neighborhoods by direct
airstrikes. These acts reflect the Israeli forces’ premeditated intent to apply
the policy of collective punishment and retaliatory acts without meeting the
requirements of any military necessity according to the international
humanitarian law, especially as they coincided with a number of threats publicly
vowed by Israeli political and military officials to carry out more retaliatory
and terror acts.
retaliatory acts have resulted in the destruction of 4 multi-storey buildings
and a number of multi-storey houses in the Gaza Strip. As a result, dozens of
residential apartments have been destroyed and dozens of families and hundreds
of civilians have been rendered homeless suffering an unprecedented state of
terror and fear. Moreover, on Tuesday, 26 August 2014, hundreds of residents of
multi-storey buildings and even residents of neighboring houses in Gaza City
evacuated their houses after receiving phone calls ordering them to do so
because the buildings and houses would be attacked. Residents of al-Sousi and
Taibah (1) multi-storey buildings in Gaza City and residents of neighboring
houses panicked due to the arbitrary attacks in the area. In addition, they had
no idea where to go then.
23 August 2014, an Israeli warplane bombed and destroyed al-Zafer (4)
multi-storey building in Gaza City, which contains 46 residential apartments.
As a result, the entire building was turned into a pile of rubbles in less than
a minute. Furthermore, 40 families comprised of 240 persons were left homeless.
The attack resulted also in wounding 18 civilians from the building and other
nearby buildings, while a number of buildings and houses in the area sustained extensive
policy continued in as a new development in the ongoing Israeli offensive as
Israeli forces destroyed 2 other multi-storey buildings in Gaza City containing
dozens of residential and commercial apartments. As a result, hundreds of
civilians have become homeless. Moreover, thousands of civilians in other
buildings and neighboring houses have left their houses due to the Israeli
threats via phone calls yesterday evening and today morning and have been
waiting what would happen to their houses and apartments.
Monday, 25 August 2014, an Israeli warplane bombed the Italian Mall building in
al-Nasser neighborhood in the north of Gaza City. The 15-storey building was comprised
of 13 residential floors that contained 52 apartments and 2 floors as a
commercial center. In addition, the head office of the Ministry of Works and
Housing was in the building. The attack resulted in the full destruction of the
building and serious damage to the neighboring houses. At approximately 04:15
on Tuesday, 26 August 2014, Israeli warplanes fired 6 missiles at the 13-storey
al-Basha building near al-Tayaran crossroads in the center of Gaza City. The
building contained offices, the most prominent of which were al-Sha’ab radio.
The attack destroyed the building completely and caused serious damage in the
area, including to neighboring houses and stores.
approximately 14:00 on Sunday, 24 August 2014, Israeli warplanes destroyed Abu
Ma’rouf neighborhood in Joret al-Lout area in Khan Yunis with more than 16
missiles. As a result, 7 houses were destroyed, 2 of which consisted of 3
floors each. In addition, 11 families including 69 persons became homeless. The
past days have witnessed an unprecedented escalation in the policy of targeting
houses, which reflects the premeditated intent to punish and avenge civilians.
has documented the destruction of 73 houses in the Gaza Strip within the past 4
days in addition to the destruction of the 4 multi-storey buildings. Consequently,
over 1,000 persons have become homeless. On 24 August 2014, an Israeli warplane
targeted with 2 missiles a 5-storey house belonging to the heirs of Faisal
Mostafa Abdul Hadi in the northwest of Gaza City. The house was resided by 8
families, including 60 persons, 30 of whom are children. As a result, the house
was destroyed completely and the neighboring houses sustained damage. Since the
beginning of the current offensive, 948 houses have been destroyed completely,
165 of which have been destroyed over their residents. As a result, 883 persons
have been killed, hundreds have been wounded and thousands of houses have been
strongly condemns this policy and believes it is a serious escalation in the
context of collective punishment and retaliatory acts against civilians, and:
upon the international community, including the High Contracting Parties to the
Fourth Geneva Convention 1949, to immediately intervene to stop such acts that amount
to the level of grave breaches of the international humanitarian law and
constitute war crimes; and
upon the international community and the United Nations and its mechanisms and treaty
and non-treaty bodies to stop the ongoing silence conspiracy towards violations
of the international humanitarian and human rights laws, which amount to the
level of crimes against humanity, as Israeli forces have denied 1.8 million
Palestinians their right to resort to safe places and have exercised the
cruelest form of retaliation and collective punishment against their lives,
safety and security.