The number of Palestinians killed by Israeli Occupation Forces in the course of the offensive on the Gaza Strip that has been ongoing for the fourth consecutive day has increased to 37, including 17 civilians. The civilian deaths include 6 children and 2 women. Additionally, 394 Palestinians, including 381 civilians, have been wounded – this number includes 107 children and 64 women. Dozens of civilian and governmental facilities have been also destroyed. Israeli airstrikes over the past 24 hours have been intense and severe, and have targeted civilian and governmental facilities located in densely-populated areas, causing civilian causalities, contrary to Israeli forces’ claims that they do not target civilians and civilian property. Israeli missiles have also hit populated houses.
The latest developments since the press release issued by PCHR yesterday noon, 16 November 2012, have been as follows:
The Northern Gaza Strip:
Since Friday evening, 16 November 2012, Israeli forces have launched 47 airstrikes, targeting agricultural plots, open areas, a house, and a garden. As a result of these attacks, 2 Palestinian civilians, including 1 woman, have been killed, and 64 civilians, including 27 children and 12 women and a member of a Palestinian armed group, have been wounded. The 2 civilians were killed on Friday noon, when an Israeli warplane attacked a number of civilians who were in the garden of a house belonging to Ghazi Abed Salman on Beit Lahia main road. They were identified as: Tahreer Ziad Salman, 22, and Mohammed Talal Saad Salman, 27. Another 3 civilians were wounded in the attack. In a serious development, this morning, Israeli warplanes fired 3 missiles at a house belonging to Suleiman Abdul Hamid Salah near al-Khulafa Mosque in Jabalya town. The house was destroyed with its residents inside, and 31 civilians, including 12 children and 7 women, were wounded. The wounded include 12 residents of the house. Additionally, dozens of nearby houses were heavily damaged.
Israeli forces have launched dozens of airstrikes on Gaza City, targeting governmental and civilian facilities and other objects mostly located in densely-populated areas. The targets have included the building of the Council of Ministers in the west of the City, which was completely destroyed and a number of nearby houses damaged; the building of the police command in the center of the City, which was completely destroyed and a number of nearby houses damaged; the building of the Civil Department of the Ministry of Interior in the south of the City, which was attacked for the second time, causing damage to al-Quds Hospital and a number of public and UNRWA school; and Palestine Stadium in al-Remal neighborhood in the center of the City, which was extensively damaged. As a result of an Israeli airstrike on Friday evening, Younis Kamel Tafesh, 55, was killed while he was riding his bicycle in al-Zaytoun neighborhood when Israeli warplanes bombarded a farmland in the area. Additionally, a member of a Palestinian armed group died this morning of wounds he had sustained on Friday evening when Israeli forces bombarded al-Shujaiya neighborhood in the east of Gaza City. In other attacks, 16 Palestinian civilians, including 3 women and 7 children, and a member of a Palestinian armed group were wounded.
The Central Gaza Strip:
Israeli forces have launched 26 air strikes and some marine attacks on the central Gaza Strip, targeting farmlands, space areas, two houses, a motorcycle and a mosque. The mosque was completely destroyed, and a number of nearby houses and two UNRWA schools were damaged. As a result of these attacks, 8 Palestinians, including 3 civilians, were killed, and 18 civilians, including 5 women and 4 children, and a member of a Palestinian armed group have been wounded. The 3 civilians were killed together with Ahmed Mohammed Jaddou Abu Jalal, 34, a leader of the Izziddin al-Qassam Brigades (the armed wing of Hamas); they were sitting near Abu Jalal’s house in al-Maghazi refugee camp, when an Israeli warplane fired a missile at them. The civilian victims were identified as: Amjad Mohammed Jaddou Abu Jalal, 33 (Ahmed’s brother); Ziad Farhan Suleiman Abu Jalal, 23; and Hassan Salem Abu Hmaile, 28.
Israeli forces have launched 16 airstrikes, targeting agricultural areas. On Friday morning, a member of a Palestinian armed group was killed, and another wounded, when Israeli warplanes bombarded a farmland area in al-Satar al-Gharbi area in the north of Khan Yunis. Four members of Palestinian armed groups and 1 child were also wounded as a result of 2 separate airstrikes in the west and east of Khan Yunis. Additionally, an Israeli airstrike targeted the yard of the campus of the Islamic University in Maan village, east of Khan Yunis.
Israeli forces have launched 45 airstrikes on Rafah, including 20 that targeted the border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt, where the tunnels are located. Other airstrikes targeted 3 houses belonging to members of Palestinian armed groups, farmlands, open areas, and members of Palestinian armed groups. As a result of these attacks, 4 members of Palestinian armed groups and 1 civilian have been killed, and 24 civilians, including 2 women and 6 children, have been wounded. 7 of the wounded civilians, including 1 child, were hit by shrapnel while they were inside their houses when Israeli forces bombarded a house belonging to Mohammed Abu Shammala, a leader of the Izziddin al-Qassam Brigades. 7 civilians, including 1 woman and 2 children, were wounded when an Israeli missile targeting a motorcycle near al-Farouq Mosque in al-Shaboura refugee camp did not hit its target.
On Saturday morning, 17 November 2012, a Palestinian civilian, Awadh Hamed al-Nahhal, 29, was killed when Israeli forces targeted and killed 3 members of Palestinian armed groups in al-Zohour neighborhood in the north of Rafah. Earlier, another member of a Palestinian armed group, Mukhles Mahmoud Edwan, 30, was killed by an Israeli airstrike in Bader area in the west of Rafah.
As a result of the Israeli attacks, dozens of houses and civilian facilities have been damaged.
PCHR reiterates condemnation, expresses utmost concern for these crimes, and:
1- Warns of deterioration of the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip in light of this continuous Israeli military escalation, threats to expand military operations, and the continued tightened closure of the Gaza Strip; and
2- Calls upon the international community to act immediately to stop these crimes, and renews the call to the High Contracting Parties of the Fourth Geneva Convention to fulfill their obligation under Article 1 of the Convention to ensure that it is respected at all times, and their responsibilities under Article 146 to pursue perpetrators of serious violations of the Convention, which are determined in Article 147, which lists violations of the Convention amounting to war crimes.
- IOF Continue the Offensive on the Gaza Strip: Civilian Deaths Rise to 10, Including 6 Children, and 253 Others, Including 62 Children, Wounded. 16 November 2012- New Israeli Military Escalation against the Gaza Strip; Leader of Hamas’ Armed Wing and His Bodyguard Extra-Judicially Executed and Death Toll in Rises to 13, Including Two Children and a Woman, While 115 Civilian, Including 26 Children and 25 Women, Woun. 15 November 2012