Over the past 72 hours, the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) have escalated their aerial and ground attacks against the Gaza Strip. Five Palestinian civilians, including 3 children, have been killed, and 52 others, including 6 women and 12 children, have been wounded. Four of these deaths and 38 of the injuries resulted from an Israeli attack on a football playground in al-Shoja’iya neighborhood east of Gaza City. Additionally, 2 members of the Palestinian resistance were killed, and some civilian facilities were destroyed or damaged.
According to investigations conducted by the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR), at approximately 15:30 on Saturday, 10 November 2012, Israeli military vehicles stationed at the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel fired an artillery shell at a number of Palestinian children who were playing football at al-Mentar Hill east of al-Shoja’iya neighborhood, which is east of Gaza City and nearly 1,500 meters away from the border. As a result, 2 children were instantly killed:
1- Mohammed Ussama Hassan Harara (16); and
2- Ahmed Mustafa Khaled Harara (17).
Following this attack, a number of Palestinian civilians, who were in the consolation house of the Harara family, rushed to the area, where the IOF immediately fired another 3 shells. As a result, 2 Palestinian civilians were instantly killed:
1- Ahmed Kamel Al- Dirdissawi (18); and
2- Matar ‘Emad ‘Abdul Rahman Abu al-‘Ata (19).
Additionally, 38 civilians, including 8 children, were wounded; the wounding of 10 of these civilians was described by medical crews as being serious.
Earlier, on Thursday evening, 08 November 2012, the IOF killed a Palestinian child during an incursion in the ‘Abassan village, east of the southern Gaza Strip town of Khan Yunis. According to investigations conducted by PCHR, at approximately 16:30 on Thursday, as a result of the indiscriminate shooting by IOF military vehicles that had moved into the ‘Abassan village, 13-year-old Ahmed Younis Khader Abu Daqqa was seriously wounded by a bullet to the abdomen. At the time he was shot, Ahmed had been playing football with his friends in front of his family’s house, located nearly 1,200 meters away from the area where the IOF were present. He was evacuated to the European Gaza Hospital in Khan Yunis, but he was pronounced dead 15 minutes later.
On Saturday and Sunday, 10 and 11 November 2012, Israeli warplanes targeted a number of members of the Palestinian resistance. As a result, 2 members of the Palestinian resistance were killed in 2 separate attacks in the northern part of the Gaza Strip. They were identified as:
1- Mohammed Fu’ad ‘Obaid (22), from Jabalya; and
2- Mohammed Sa’id Shkoukani (18).
Moreover, the IOF have launched several attacks against Palestinian civilian property, as follows:
At approximately 17:00 on Saturday, 10 November 2012, the IOF, positioned at the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of Khan Yunis, fired 2 artillery shells at the water tank of the Khuza’a Municipality, nearly 800 meters away from the border. Shrapnel from the shells hit 11 Palestinian civilians, including 5 women and 2 children, while they were inside their houses or in nearby streets.
At the same time, the IOF, positioned at the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel, fired an artillery shell at the office of the Gaza Electricity Distribution Company in al-Sha’af neighborhood east of Gaza City. The office was heavily damaged, but no casualties were reported.
On Saturday evening, Israeli warplanes opened fire at open areas northwest of Beit Lahia in the northern part of the Gaza Strip. No casualties were reported, but Palestinian civilians were extremely terrified.
Overnight, an Israeli warplane fired a missile at a brick factory belonging to the Hassanain family in al-Tuffah neighborhood east of Gaza City. The factory was totally destroyed.
At approximately 00:00 on Sunday, 11 November 2012, Israeli warplanes fired 2 missiles at a metalwork workshop belonging to Radwan Younis Tafesh in the northern Gaza Strip town of Jabalya. The workshop was completely destroyed, and a neighboring house belonging to Sami Khair al-Najjar was damaged. Al-Najjar’s wife, Nihad Fahmi al-Najjar (45), was injured by glass fragments throughout her body, and their child, Mustafa (17), was injured by glass fragments in his left foot.
Early this morning, an Israeli warplane fired 3 missiles at a concrete factory in the Tal al-Sultan neighborhood west of Rafah. The factory was completely destroyed, but no casualties were reported.
At the same time, an Israeli warplane fired a missile at a 1,000-square-meter poultry farm in al-Hashash neighborhood northwest of Rafah. The farm was completely destroyed, and 10 sheep and some birds were killed. A number of nearby houses were heavily damaged.
Also this morning, an Israeli warplane fired a missile at an agricultural store near a house belonging to Mohammed Mustafa Jaber in Beit Lahia. The store was completely destroyed and the house was heavily damaged. Two neighboring houses were also damaged.
PCHR reiterates condemnation of these crimes, expresses its utmost concern about Israel’s repeated threats of an escalation, and:
1- Affirms that these crimes are a continuation of the IOF’s war crimes in the occupied Palestinian territory, especially the Gaza Strip, that reflect the IOF’s use of excessive force and disregard for civilian lives; 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.